Here’s a quick look at the top three positional needs for the Oakland Raiders.
Secondary: The Raiders need help at cornerback, where their play has been pedestrian, and safety, where Charles Woodson has retired after 18 NFL seasons. Raiders corners David Amerson, a waiver pickup, and DJ Hayden, a disappointing first-round pick in 2013, and nickel back Neiko Thorpe combined for six interceptions all season. Safety Nate Allen, signed as an unrestricted free agent, appeared in only five games and finished the season on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Offensive tackle: Both starting tackles Donald Penn and J'Marcus Webb, as well as backup Kahalif Barnes, who has been relegated to special teams, are now unrestricted free agents, so there is a sense of urgency there. The Raiders are hopeful Menelik Watson, their second-round draft pick in 2013, will be recovered from a torn Achilles tendon, but there are no guarantees with that injury.
Defensive end: Veteran Justin Tuck was lost for the season in mid-October with a pectoral injury, and he’s a free agent. He’ll also be 33 in March and may be at the end of the line. Aldon Smith's NFL suspension will continue deep into next season. And rookie Mario Edwards Jr, who showed so much progress, finished the season with a neck injury, and the Raiders have to be concerned with that.