2013 OAKLAND RAIDERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
June 25, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2013 OAKLAND RAIDERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
LAST YEAR: 4-12, 3RD IN THE AC WEST
HEAD COACH: DENNIS ALLEN, 2ND YEAR
There are many changes coming for the Oakland Raiders in 2013, especially on defense. There may be as many as 9 new starters, many coming from this year’s draft. Second year Coach Dennis Allen has the Raiders moving in the right direction and the ownership group will be more patient with Allen than former Owner Al Davis would have been.
Before we discuss the many changes coming on defense, let’s examine what the Raiders have in store on offense. QB Carson Palmer is out, Matt Flynn is in. Flynn signed a big contract in Seattle last season but never made it on the field because of Russell Wilson. So now he will get a shot with the Raiders. Flynn had one excellent game in Green Bay so we don’t really know what to expect. Flynn will have Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson as back-ups.
Flynn will have RB Darren McFadden running the football, when he is healthy. Oakland had one of the worst running games in the NFL in 2012 (88.8, 28th in NFL). The biggest question will be at WR. Darrius Heyward-Bey was released and TE Brandon Myers left via free agency. That leaves Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford was the primary targets at WR and Richard Gordon at TE. TE Nick Kasa was drafted out of Colorado and TE Mychal Rivera out of Tennessee to help Gordon. Brice Butler was drafted out of San Diego State to provide depth at WR. The offense line is back in tact led by C Stefen Wisniewski. The Raiders drafted OT Menelik Watson out of Florida State (6-5, 310) and he may step in right away. Watson has as much talent as any OL in the draft.
The biggest changes are coming on defense. The biggest addition was the drafting of CB D.J. Hayden out of Houston. Hayden is excellent in man coverage and has great ball skills. DT Tommy Kelly and DT Richard Seymour have departed and they will be hard to replace. Oakland signed several players to fill the holes including NT Pat Sims, DT Vance Walker, DE Jason Hunter, LB Nick Roach, LB Kaluka Maiava, LB Kevin Moore, CB Tracy Porter, CB Mike Jenkins, LB Kevin Burnet and FS Usama Young. DE Lamar Houston is the only returning player from last year’s front seven. In the draft, the Raiders needed several immediate, impact type players including Hayden, LB Sio Moore (UConn), DT Stacy McGee (Oklahoma) and DE David Bass (Missouri Western). No other team in the NFL made as many changes on defense as the Raiders.
Coach Allen wasn’t afraid to overhaul the Raiders defense. He has an extensive background on defense and didn’t like what he saw in 2012. There will be growing pains in 2013 on both sides of the football. Question will be, how long will ownership allow Coach Allen to re-build?
2012 IN REVIEW:
TOTAL OFFENSE: 344.0 (18TH)
RUN OFFENSE: 88.8 (28TH)
PASS OFFENSE: 255.2 (8TH)
TOTAL DEFENSE: 354.5 (18TH)
RUN DEFENSE: 188.6 (18TH)
PASS DEFENSE: 235.9 (20TH)
2013 RAIDERS DRAFT
1 -- D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston;
2 (42) - Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State;
3 (66) - Sio Moore, LB, UConn;
4 (112) - Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas;
6 (172) - Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado;
6 (181) - Latavius Murry, RB, Central Florida;
6 (184) - Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee;
6 (205) - Stacy McGee, DT, Oklahoma;
7 (209) - Brice Butler, WR, San Diego State;
7 (233) - David Bass, DE, Missouri Western
Top Pick Analysis: Reggie McKenzie came over from Green Bay before last season and is still trying to wash the Davis craziness out of the Raiders but didn't do a good job in the first round. Oakland loved Hayden so much they almost wasted the No. 3 overall pick to get him before wisely trading down and getting him at 12. They could have dropped another 10 spots at least. Things settled down from there. Second-rounder Watson is a very raw tackle prospect but has a big upside, and Moore has a nice work ethic and some coverage ability at linebacker.
Best Value Pick: Matt Flynn is probably just a caretaker so getting a legitimate developmental quarterback like Wilson with a fourth-round pick is a positive.
Questionable Calls: Even if they develop, Hayden and Moore simply weren't good value picks where they were taken.
Summary: The Raiders didn't address the defensive line after blowing things up there so that remains a concern. Hayden and Moore should help the back seven in coverage while Watson and Wilson are classic Davis-like boom-or-bust types. It's like the guy is still haunting the organization.
DRAFT GRADE: C+
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: Louisville CB Adrian Bushell; Virginia Union DE Kentrell Harris; Youngstown State G Lamar Mady; Wyoming OT Kyle Magnuson; Tulsa S Dexter McColl; Rice RB Sam McGuffie; Eastern Washington QB Kyle Padron; Duke WR Conner Vernon; Boston College OT John Wetzel; Cal DB Deunta Williams; Rutgers WR Tim Wright
2013 RAIDERS SCHEDULE
Sept. 8 at Indianapolis, 1
2013 RAIDERS ROSTER