The Raiders will have to be very creative in order to come out of this year's NFL Draft with impact players.
If you haven't seen mock drafts projecting who Oakland will take in the first round, it's because they don't have a pick in the opening round. In fact, the Raiders won't make a selection until 95th overall.
Oakland sent what turned out to be the 17th pick to Cincinnati in the Carson Palmer trade last year. The Raiders traded their second round pick in last year's draft to the Patriots. Unless they make a deal to move up in this year's draft, they won't make a pick until the last selection of the third round.
Despite their lack of picks, the Raiders will look to add players that will help their roster in 2012. For the second straight season, Oakland finished at 8-8 in 2011, and is looking to finish above .500 for the first time in a decade.
The Raiders are on the verge of becoming a playoff team, and will look to make a few picks that might put them over the hump. Here are Oakland's biggest needs heading into the draft, as well as some specific players they may be targeting.
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The Raiders are extremely lacking in the middle of their defense. Oakland was poor against both the run and the pass in 2011, and a lack of talent at the linebacker position was one of the biggest reasons. The loss of Kamerion Wimbley to the Titans depletes an already weak linebacking corp.
At pick 95 or 129, the Raiders could look at someone like Jake Bequette from Arkansas. He played defensive end in college, but impressed scouts in linebacker drills at the Scouting Combine. If Bruce Irvin from West Virginia makes it past the second round, the Raiders may have a chance to nab him.
Oakland never recovered from losing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in the 2011 offseason. The Raiders finished 27th best in the league in passing yards allowed, after not finding an adequate replacement. They added Ron Bartell from the Rams, but it's unknown how he'll play a year after fracturing his neck.
Iowa State's Leonard Johnson would be a good fit for Oakland at number 129 or 148 overall. If Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward is still available in the third round, the Raiders may use their fist pick on him.