The Oakland Raiders need a lot of help after their 2012 NFL season.
For the 10th straight year, the team missed the missed the playoffs. At 4-12, only the Kansas City Chiefs had a worse season.
Oakland added free agents in Vance Walker and Tracy Porter in the offseason, but still has a lot of moves to make before they can expect to be competitive in the AFC West. On Thursday, the Raiders will take the next step in improving their club with the start of the 2013 NFL Draft.
While the draft may be a crapshoot, Oakland has a good chance of finding at least one future NFL star. Since they lost 75 percent of their games in 2012, the Raiders have the third pick in the first round.
With so many holes to fill, who are the Raiders first-round candidates?
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Of all the prospects that have been rumored to be on their way to Oakland, Floyd’s name has been brought up the most. The defensive tackle is considered by many to be the top player at his position, and the Raiders could use a lot of help on their defensive front.
Despite bringing in Walker, Oakland lost a lot of talent up front. Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Desmond Brant are all no longer with the team.
In his final season at Florida, Floyd registered three sacks and 13 tackles for a loss. With two offensive tackles likely to go in the first two picks, Floyd could be the first defensive player off the board. Scouts love his verstility and size.
If the Raiders use their first pick to fill their biggest need, Milliner might be their choice at No.3. Oakland had one of the worst secondaries in 2012, allowing 28 passing touchdowns on the year.
By most accounts Milliner is projected to be the top cornerback in the 2013 class. He intercepted two passes in his last year at Alabama and helped lead the club to a national championship. He broke up 22 passes in 2012, which is the most among any defensive backs that could go on the first day of the draft.
Since Nnamdi Asomugha’s departure, the team has been looking to find a top cornerback. Milliner, who has excellent speed and is an aggressive tackler, could be the ideal guy to fill that role.
For much of the offseason, it appeared that Jordan wouldn’t be available for the Raiders at No.3. Now, draft experts are reporting that the defensive lineman could still be on the board when Oakland is ready to make their first selection.
With both the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars potentially taking offensive lineman with the top two picks, Oakland may be able to snag a top pass rusher. Jordan is versatile, with the ability to play both defensive end and linebacker.
In his final two years at Oregon, he recorded 12.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss. Jordan is tall and lean at 6'7 and about 250 pounds.
Oakland was terrible at rushing the passer in 2012, picking up just 25 sacks. If Jordan falls to No.3, the Raiders may feel he’s too good to pass up.