Raiders must prepare for small draft class

For most teams that are out of the playoffs, it is time to starting thinking about draft plans.

But it is difficult for the Oakland Raiders to go that route.

As of now they own just two picks in the entire draft: one each in the fifth and sixth rounds. Oakland will surely get at least two compensatory picks because of free-agent losses, but none will be higher than the No. 97 overall pick. Having your first pick at the end of the third round is not an ideal spot to start.

The Raiders have an interesting roster with some young talent at several spots. But it could use help in the secondary, at linebackers and on the offensive line. At this point, it may be difficult to count on getting 2012 help through the draft. Oakland has had some late-round success in recent years, but that’s hard to count on. Free agency may be Oakland’s surest route of getting immediate help.

Here is the breakdown of the Raiders’ 2012 draft picks:

1st round: Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals for Carson Palmer.

2nd round: Traded to the New England Patriots for 2011 3rd- and 4th-round picks.

3rd round: Exercised in 2011 supplemental draft (Terrelle Pryor).

4th round: Traded to the Washington Redskins for Jason Campbell.

5th round: Still own pick.

6th round: Still own pick.

7th round: Traded to the Seattle Seahawks for Aaron Curry.