Raiders could prioritize offensive line, receiver in free agency

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The Raiders’ new regime of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler will take a hard look at the top draft prospects next week at the NFL’s scouting meeting in Indianapolis.

The event will give them a better idea of ​​the number of needs they can meet through the project. What they decide will help set the course for their free will projects, which begin on March 14.

The handle the Raiders get on the draft will play a major role in determining the direction they take in free agency.

As the Raiders sit today, they have significant wide receiver and offensive line needs. Beyond that, reinforcements will likely be needed along the defensive, linebacker and secondary line to suit new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s system.

Here’s a look at how the Raiders could prioritize free agency and who they could target:

offensive line

A lot of what the Raiders do from the start hinges on what they do with Alex Leatherwood and Denzelle Good. Leatherwood was drafted in the first round last year to play right tackle, but the combination of right guard Good suffering a season-ending injury in Game 1 and Leatherwood struggling at tackle forced the Raiders to make slipping Leatherwood to keep three games into the season.

Good is under contract for 2022, and his guarding and tackling experience gives the Raiders flexibility in the direction they take with Leatherwood. But whether Leatherwood stays at guard or returns to tackle, expect the Raiders to invest in the open position.

If that turns out to be the right tackle, keep an eye out for Jets free agent Morgan Moses, a stable and reliable 30-year-old player who would be an instant upgrade.

The Raiders could also look to Seattle’s Duane Brown. He turns 37 this year, but he continues to play at a stable and reliable level, and as a one- or two-year option, he would be exactly what the Raiders need.

If the Raiders decide Leatherwood is more suitable at tackle, they’ll be in the market for a guard and maybe two depending on how they rate John Simpson, who played left guard last season with mixed results.

The good news is that the interior offensive line market is strong in free agency, and the Raiders could target several options at affordable prices.

Washington’s Brandon Scherff is at the top of the market, and his price will reflect that distinction. He is arguably one of the top 10 players in his position and is a huge improvement.

But there are several other solid options, including Tampa Bay’s Alex Cappa, Chicago’s James Daniels, Rams’ Austin Corbett and San Francisco’s Laken Tomlinson.

wide receiver

With so much attention on Green Bay’s Davante Adams — and rightly so given his ties to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and the way they’ve talked about playing together — it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are other intriguing candidates.

The cost of bringing Adams to Las Vegas, whether through commercial or free agency, will be prohibitive. And making that kind of investment would seem to be a departure from the model McDaniels and Ziegler worked on in New England.

Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin could also be overlooked, although the knee injury he suffered at the end of last season could feature in his next contract. Chicago’s Allen Robinson might be the best choice in terms of finances and talent, and putting him in a stable quarterback situation will unlock some of the production left on the table over the past two seasons with the Bears.

Mike Williams of the Chargers and DJ Clark of Jacksonville are also possibilities.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at [email protected] To follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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