The Oakland Raiders lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The result is not surprising, but the way in which it happened is. The Colts outrushed the Raiders. The Raiders run D, while improved, is still in the bottom third of the league. They couldn't stop a Colts run game that has struggled all year. It wasn't the typical Raider struggles either. Instead of stuffing a majority of runs and then suffering numerous big runs, they were consistently pushed around for four and five yard gains.
Many of these runs were right up the middle. The Raiders sorely missed DT Richard Seymour. While the Raiders DTs have been great all year, it is the one area on D where they are not young. Also, two of their main DTs, Seymour and John Henderson, are on the last year of their contracts. So, today's focus will be on the available DTs in this year's draft. The Raiders have lacked a true "0" technique run stuffing DT for years. Here are some guys that may fit the mold.
DT Muhammad Wilderson, Temple: Wilkerson is still a Junior and has not yet declared for the NFL Draft. If he does go he is likely going to be a second round pick. He would fit in nicely to the Raiders system. He is a run stuffer, but he can get pressure on the QB. He is constantly in other team's backfield. He has 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Wilkerson measures, 6'5 and 305 lbs.
DT Sione Fua, Stanford: Fua is being projected anywhere between the third and fifth round. He could be just the kind of player that the Raiders need. He goes 6'2 and 306 lbs. Fua has not put up great numbers, but he is constantly occupying blockers. This would be a great mid round pick up for the Raiders as they would probably only need him as a run situation player.
DT Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson: Jenkins is another guy the Raiders could pick up in the mid rounds. He does not put up huge numbers. He is more adept at occupying blockers and stuffing the run, then he is at getting to the QB. Jenkins is 6'4 310 lbs.
DT Phil Taylor, Baylor: Yet another guy the Raiders could pick up in the mid rounds. He is someone that is primarily going to be used as a run stuffer and he would give the Raiders the kind of girth they currently lack inside. Taylor is 6'4 and 355 lbs.