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Raiders have plenty of needs, but not enough draft picks

  • Alabama offensive lineman Chance Warmack runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Here's something you already know about the Raiders as they approach the 2013 NFL draft: General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen need help at virtually every position group.

Honestly, is there a position that is stacked on this roster? OK, they have a superb kicker in Sebastian Janikowski.

Perhaps one good fullback (Marcel Reece in this instance) is enough in the modern NFL. And maybe you're sold on the futures of Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, though most people aren't.

Beyond that, the Help Wanted ads are thicker than offensive coordinator Greg Olson's playbook in Oakland.

So forget the old debate between drafting for need versus taking the best player available. For the Raiders, the best player available will almost certainly fill a need.

Now, five things that aren't quite as obvious:


If the Raiders hang on to their top pick — whether because they find a player they love or because no one offers suitable compensation in trade — it will be the fourth-highest selection this franchise has made since the NFL and AFL instituted a combined draft in 1967.

Thanks to that grim 4-12 record in 2012, Oakland has the No. 3 overall pick. Raiders fans are hoping the team performs better than it did with those previous three choices.

The Raiders selected USC defensive tackle Darrell Russell at No. 2 in 1997, Iowa tackle Robert Gallery at No. 2 in 2004 and LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell at No. 1 in 2007.

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