Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Could the Oakland Raiders look to address potential free agency losses by drafting a defensive lineman in the 2013 NFL Draft?
The Oakland Raiders have a lot to do this off-season. They have changes to make with their offensive gameplan after it fell totally flat with the personnel on the roster, and they have to worry about once again losing some of their top players to free agency.
Guys like Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are set to hit free agency, and the Raiders will have a tough time luring other players of similar caliber to Oakland. Fortunately, the Raiders have the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and didn't trade this one.
They may immediately look to address the potential absences on their defensive line. Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation released his latest mock draft on Monday, and he has them doing just that, taking Star Lotulelei, a defensive tackle out of Utah.
Both Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant are unrestricted free agents, leaving Oakland with Tommy Kelly and Christo Bilukidi up front. Oakland often used Seymour along the defensive line, at end, three-technique and nose tackle. That's probably the best way to use the relentless Star Lotulelei as well. Lotulelei is a three-down lineman who should be able to play 50 snaps a game.
Oakland will have a full off-season with their front office intact to forge a draft strategy, and going with the best player available at No. 3 certainly makes sense.
There are other options, of course. Lotulelei is not the consensus best player at No. 3 and not even the consensus best defensive lineman in the draft, with guys like Bjoern Werner from Florida State and Damontre Moore of Texas A&M holding equal stake to that claim.
At the very least, the Raiders have options.