The Oakland Raiders are currently in rebuilding mode and have made some key additions to their roster thus far. General manager Reggie McKenzie is in the zone right now and has wisely added great assets to the team in multiple areas.
Oakland started off by immediately improving the linebacking core and defensive line, two areas of most concern. There are already three new linebackers on the team that were recently signed: Nick Roach, Kaluka Maiava, and Kevin Burnett. All three of them are very solid signings and are expected to start or get good minutes.
Three defensive linemen were recently signed as well: Pat Sims, Vance Walker, and Jason Hunter. McKenzie seems to be targeting veterans in the market rather than the young prospects because Oakland is a very young team and lacks veteran leadership. Another few smart signings by Oakland as all three new linemen are expected to help the Raiders front seven significantly.
With the loss of Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell the Raiders should now look to sign a dependable DB or two to help improve their struggling secondary.
A solid defensive back that would certainly help their pass defense is free agent Nate Clements. Clements’ age is beginning to show, however this 33-year-old is still a capable cornerback. The veteran has recorded six interceptions over the last three seasons and his ability to play multiple positions in a defensive backfield will be a great asset as his career starts to wind down.
Free agent corner Tracy Porter would be another solid pickup for Oakland. This would relieve many fans knowing that silver and black finally has a reliable corner in the secondary area. The 26-year-old is known for picking off Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in key playoff games that ended up sealing the deal. He is a big play guy, he can make some monumental plays and has done just that throughout his career. There is some downside to Porter, such as his inability to make a tackle at times and he tends to get injured quite frequently. The youngster is far from flawless although he is a play maker and has shown that he is capable of being a solid cornerback in this league.
Safety Kerry Rhodes would be a great acquisition as well. Rhodes is an outstanding football player, one of the best safeties in the business. Rhodes is too good of a player to be a free agent for much longer. The 30-year-old safety notched 67 tackles last season and added four interceptions for the Arizona Cardinals. He may be overpriced for Oakland, but if they can get their hands on this stud in anyways they should seize the opportunity.