Oakland Raiders: Ranking team’s offensive positional needs this offseason

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images /
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Oakland Raiders
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images /

4. Running Back

Given the uncertain status of Marshawn Lynch, the position is somewhat in a state of flux at the moment. Lynch’s contract is up and we don’t know if Gruden is going to try to entice him back for another season or not just yet – or if Lynch even wants to come back for another year.

At this moment, they’re pretty thin in the backfield. You would think Doug Martin showed enough (shockingly) to get a second deal in Oakland. And of course, you have Jalen Richard who proved himself to be a valuable contributor to the offense. But, he’s a restricted free agent, so Gruden is going to have to figure out how much he values Richard since teams are undoubtedly going to come knocking.

Assuming the Raiders re-sign Martin and are able to retain Richard, that still leaves them a little thin at the position. And we know that Gruden loves to pair a big, bruising back with his smaller, shiftier, quicker ones.

That could lead to Chris Warren III getting a longer look this offseason since he flashed some serious upside last year and seems to be a natural fit into Gruden’s offense and a solid complementary piece to both Martin and Richard.

A backfield of Warren, Martin, and Richard could be a decent foundation for a potent running game, though they would still need to flesh it out with a little depth. With all of their accrued draft capital, the Raiders could look to add a younger guy in the later rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. Some options include Lamical Perine out of Florida, or Alex Barnes out of Kansas State – both have that powerful frame and hard running style Gruden prefers.

The lack of depth is a bit of a concern at this point, but it isn’t critical and will be addressed.