The Oakland Raiders might just have the most talented roster in the AFC West. Top to bottom, they have impact players at key positions on both sides of the ball. To reclaim the division crown, here's what they'll need to solidify the 53:
The one true constant from all three lists now remains off-the-ball linebacker. As stated before, Oakland needs experience at the middle and weakside linebacker positions. Ben Heeney, Malcolm Smith and Neiron Ball will be required to step up. Expect Heeney and Smith to lock down the two starting positions.
2. Defensive End
Although the Raiders have two above-average starters in place in Mario Edwards, Jr. and Dan Williams, they are low on depth. Second-round selection Jihad Ward out of Illinois has promise but will need time to develop. Selected with the 44th overall pick, Ward is far too raw to have an immediate impact on the football field, but shows potential. Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. are reportedly "salivating" at the opportunity to work with him. Other options on the roster include Denico Autry and Leon Orr, but more talent is needed.
Although Rodney Hudson has the starting position locked down, there is no backup option for him. None of the alternatives have the footwork or mobility to slide into the center position, with Vadal Alexander and Jon Feliciano two young players who are far too large to replace the light, nimble Hudson. If Hudson were to suffer an injury, there is no straightforward replacement currently on the roster for Oakland.
Written by the Pro Football Spot Oakland Raiders Staff. Follow us on Twitter: @spot_raiders