Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 20, 2009
What about the defensive line?

I'm back from basketball (for a little while) with the NFL Draft five days away.

I received a nice e-mail from Roy who questioned my sanity for not listing defensive line as a top-5 priority in today's Bee.

He's tired of seeing everyone run through the Raiders defense. And how can drafting a defensive lineman not be a bigger priority than depth on the offensive line?

Allow me to explain myself.

I've long contended the Raiders could use help up front. But in putting together my list, I took into account what the Raiders are likely to do.

In re-signing William Joseph and adding Ryan Boschetti, the Raiders (whether you like it or not) believe they have addressed their needs at defensive tackle. And with Derrick Burgess, Jay Richardson, Trevor Scott and Greyson Gunheim back, those are four defensive ends the Raiders like.

And if the Raiders passed on Glenn Dorsey to address offense last year, I have no reason to believe they'd pass on a big-time tackle or receiver for B.J. Raji this year.

Whether you like it or not, the players the Raiders already have are going to have to play better.

A defensive lineman wouldn't be a stretch later in the draft. I just expect the team to address the offensive needs and their hole at safety first.

So Roy, I'm not crazy. Just trying to be practical.

It's my last week covering the Raiders so I look forward to having some fun in the days before and during the draft.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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