On the Clock: Oakland Raiders

Scouts Inc. puts the Raiders on the clock, breaking down their offseason moves and looking at what questions still need answering.

Originally Published: April 20, 2007
By Keith Kidd | Scouts Inc.

Since March 15, "SportsCenter" has put every NFL team "On The Clock." Scouts Inc. has provided a breakdown of each team and looked at what questions still need answering.

Scouts: Free-agent tracker
Raiders
For a complete list of all of the Raiders' free agents and all their offseason signings, check out Scouts Inc.'s free-agent tracker.
Raiders' free agents
Complete free-agent tracker
This has been a critical offseason for the Raiders and Lane Kiffin, who assumes the role as the youngest head coach in the NFL. Kiffin was hired to improve an offense that was one of the worst in franchise and modern NFL history, scoring only 12 touchdowns last season. The Raiders are in dire need of a franchise quarterback and help along the offensive line. Defensively, the Raiders are in great shape under the guidance of coordinator Rob Ryan. This young unit made tremendous strides in 2006 and finished third in total defense. On top of that, the unit returns intact at every position.

Key additions

The Raiders' plan of attack in free agency was to improve their offensive personnel. The signing of RB Dominic Rhodes (Colts) should improve the running game and take some pressure off LaMont Jordan and Justin Fargas. Also, the addition of FB Justin Griffith (Falcons) should bring a lot of versatility and allow Kiffin to run a balanced scheme. The Raiders were also aggressive in trying to improve their offensive line with the signings of C Jeremy Newberry (49ers), G Cooper Carlisle (Broncos) and OT Cornell Green (Buccaneers). Carlisle has the best chance to start among the group. Newberry is a solid player who has big-time medical concerns. Green has been a backup player throughout his career. Also, the Raiders addressed their tight end situation with the addition of Tony Stewart (Bengals) and Fred Wakefield (Cardinals). Stewart is a solid player with additional value on special teams. Defensively, the Raiders made two key moves before the start of free agency by re-signing LB Robert Thomas and DT Terdell Sands.

Mock draft: Raiders
The Pick (No. 1 overall):
QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
Insider

Russell
Todd McShay: Unless the Raiders acquire a QB before the draft, Russell makes the most sense for a team loaded with talented wide receivers (Randy Moss, Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry) but with nobody to get them the ball.
Complete mock draft Insider
SportsNation: Mock draft
Vote: Team needs
Key losses

The Raiders didn't suffer any huge losses this offseason. The biggest departure was RT Langston Walker. However, Walker has struggled with his development and consistency throughout his career. QB Aaron Brooks was a disappointment last season. He never seemed confident playing in a system that didn't give him a chance to succeed. The Raiders also lost backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo and backup corner Tyrone Poole.

Remaining questions

Has Al Davis uncovered another great young coach in the mold of Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden with the hiring of Kiffin? Can the Raiders solve their offensive problems in one offseason? Look for the Raiders to address the quarterback situation, while keeping their eyes open for explosive wide receivers due to the uncertainty surrounding Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. Also, the Raiders will continue to address the offensive line and tight end position. Defensively, the Raiders would like to find a young defensive tackle to groom behind Warren Sapp and a pass-rusher who could create problems off the edge. They will also look to add depth at outside linebacker, corner and safety.