The Oakland Raiders need help at several positions entering the 2013 NFL Draft, but the most critical need could be in the front seven, where they struggled mightily last season. Oakland gave up 4.3 yards per carry in the running game, and ranked second-to-last in the NFL with just 25 sacks on the year. With defensive end Richard Seymour an unrestricted free agent and linebacker Rolando McClain likely on his way out, the Raiders need bodies up front, especially if they're versatile.
On Monday, SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn released his latest mock draft and projected the Raiders to select Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson at No. 3 overall. The highly regarded lineman could be just what Oakland needs.
Considering the state of Oakland's front-seven, this pick could go any number of directions. Sheldon Richardson grades out as the top defensive tackle on the board, and that's a huge position of need for the Raiders. He could play in multiple spots on the defensive line in multiple alignments. Richardson is a disruptive interior pass rusher who would bring some attitude to Oakland's trenches.
In his scouting report of Richardson, Fairburn praised the junior for the high motor, straight-line speed and fluidity that made him a serious pass-rushing threat in the interior. Richardson could be a better anchor against the run, but overall it appears that Oakland would be getting a very high-caliber athlete if they did target Richardson with their first pick.