It did not take the Oakland Raiders long to start window shopping with their newly acquired third round draft pick. Less than two days after the compensatory draft picks were announced by the NFL, the Raiders scheduled their first pre draft visit for a player they could potentially take with their first pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
According to Paul Gutierrez, the Raiders are scheduled to host Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman. Chapman is considered by many to be the third best nose tackle of the draft. Chapman is a beast of a man, standing at 6'1 and weighing 316 pounds. It is reported that he can bench press close to 600 pounds and can squat well over 600 pounds. He is a player that would likely have gone much higher than where the Raiders are slated to be picking if not for the fact that he suffered an ACL injury in October and is coming off of a surgery for it.
If the Raiders are seriously considering the addition of Chapman, it could be a very telling sign about what the Raiders defense might look like next season. Traditionally, the Raiders play a 4-3 base defense (with the exception of a couple of seasons during Chuck Bresnahan's first stint as the team's defensive coordinator, that is). The use of the Raiders highest draft pick on a nose tackle could signal the move from a 4-3 to a 3-4 base defense. If, however, the Raiders do decide to go in this direction, their need for additional linebackers would go from necessary to drastic. Currently, the Raiders only have two starting caliber linebackers on their team, and some would question whether I am being too generous by stating that Rolando McClain and Aaron Curry are starting caliber.
Certainly, Chapman will not be the only name tied to the Raiders third round pick, but just the fact that Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are considering Chapman says a lot about potential plans for the future of the Raiders defense.