Team Insider Vic Tafur Believes Raiders Will Address Two Key Positions Early in the Draft

The Athletic‘s Vic Tafur correctly projected the Raiders first-round pick last year and this year he hasn’t predicted a player, but believes the Raiders are focused on two primary positions heading into the draft.

“I think they’ll probably go right tackle, if not, they have also traded down a lot. They never trade up, they trade down. I think it’s a deep class at tackle so you can probably trade down and still get a guy that can come in and start from day one,” Tafur said on the State of the Nation podcast.

“To me, they have pretty much address the other needs throughout the offseason so as of today Brandon Parker would be the starting right tackle. That’s probably not what they want for very long. Maybe a couple of weeks if they had to, but that definitely not the plan for next season. At safety they got Karl Joseph back, but I don’t think Karl Joseph is a starting free safety and same with Jeff Heath, so I think they need to address that also. They have two pretty obvious needs and based on their history that we’ve talked about, that’s where I see them going probably in the first two rounds.”

It’s no secret that the draft is loaded with offensive tackles this year, but there aren’t as many good options at safety. If the Raiders take a tackle in the first round they might have a difficult time adding a safety that can plug into the starting lineup right away.

One solution to keep an eye on…

Could the Raiders use their first-round pick on a top safety and think about trading Marcus Mariota to a quarterback-needy team sometime thereafter?

If they can move back into the early second round, the Raiders could potentially walk away from the draft with a very good safety and a very good offensive tackle.

As of now, teams like Washington and Chicago aren’t in good positions to trade back with the Raiders, but things can change quickly in the draft. It’s also possible that a team like New England could re-emerge as a potential trade partner for Mariota. Or maybe Bill Belichick will choose to run it back fully invested in Cam Newton… but it feels like he probably has a better backup plan to Newton than what he already has on the roster.

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Team Insider Vic Tafur Believes Raiders Will Address Two Key Positions Early in the Draft

  1. I like your idea about trading Mariota during the draft. That would be great. However, keep in mind that Denzel Good was recently resigned and he is our starting right tackle not Brandon Parker.

    I think with uncertainty at the guard position we will have to take a right tackle just in case Richie Incognito gets injured or the center situation where we’re rotating James and Martin doesn’t work at and we need to kick Denzel back into Right Guard

    1. No trade clause doesn’t mean Mariota can’t be traded. It means he has to agree or disagree on where the Raiders want to trade him.

  2. If a difference maker (Surtain, Parsons, Barmore IMO) is there in the 1st you take one. All about the O-line but we can’t seem to get off the field when it matters most. I Like Eichenburg, Carmen, & Leatherwood in the 2nd, Hainsey, and Hudson in the later rounds but I have a suspicion the long and lean (6’8″ 290Lbs) Brown out of UNI will have Cables eye. Not sold on any safety on the board, intrigued by Grant, Molden, Cisco, & Hamlin in rounds 2-5.

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