Raiders Team Report

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Despite the looming uncertainty of the collective bargaining agreement, the Oakland Raiders continue to prepare for the 2011 NFL Draft.

No first-round pick this year for Raiders


INSIDE SLANT

The Raiders already have their first pick. He's defensive tackle Richard Seymour, acquired from the Patriots in 2009 for their first-round selection in this year.

Seymour's contract has been extended two years, so seeing New England use their pick at No. 17 overall won't be quite so painful. Barring a trade to move up, Oakland will be without a first-round pick for the first time since 1989.

The Raiders' mission is to follow up what looks to be the best draft since they returned to Oakland in 1995 with another one. The Raiders got plenty of value after the first round a year ago, with everyone sticking and almost everyone contributing.

Coach Hue Jackson said at the Combine the club will be looking for players everywhere, but at one point noted "except quarterback." The position belongs to Jason Campbell unless it's a developmental pick.

Two areas that will be addressed include cornerback and offensive line. Nnamdi Asomugha is scheduled for unrestricted free agency pending a collective bargaining agreement as is left guard Robert Gallery.

Oakland also could cut ties with right guard Cooper Carlisle and are transitioning away from a zone blocking scheme to more gap and power blocking with zone as a change of pace.

The Raiders can usually be counted on to grab an imposing defensive lineman if possible. But with Seymour's return along with Tommy Kelly and reportedly agreeing to terms with John Henderson, to go along with Matt Shaughnessy, Desmond Bryant and Trevor Scott, any defensive lineman would probably wait until late in the draft.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Guard/center: With Gallery and Carlisle out of the picture and Bruce Campbell a question mark, the middle of the Raiders' line needs some young blood. The Raiders added Jared Veldheer a year ago at left tackle, but could also look at a promising right tackle to challenge Langston Walker.

2. Cornerback:

Al Davis loves to draft cornerbacks anyway, but now he has good reason to do so. With Asomugha probably moving on, and Stanford Routt getting a two-year extension, the depth consists of Chris Johnson and second-year men Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware.

3. Tight end:

Chances are good they'll keep four-year veteran, Pro Bowler and free agent Zach Miller around, being that he's led the team in receiving four straight years. But there were only two tight ends on the roster, and Miller has taken a lot of big hits. Depth is mandatory.

INSIDE THE WAR ROOM

The Raiders are always thinking the same thing -- the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, the most imposing. They varied slightly last year looking for production, getting Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston in the first and second round, but all players fit within the physical requirements demanded by Davis.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Wide receiver Jacoby Ford turned out to be one of the better draft picks by the Raiders in recent years, producing three touchdowns on kickoff returns, seven overall and infusing the offense with a quick-strike capability -- all for a fourth-round selection, No. 108 overall.

There were initially some snickers because his time of 4.28 was the fastest at the Combine, making it look as if Davis was reaching for his beloved speed.

It turned out Ford could do much more than just run fast. They didn't pull the trigger just because he was fast at the Combine.

"We looked at him and we still had to look further," Jackson said. "The combine is a process where you gather information, watch tape, go watch 'em work out. Next thing you know, you draft them and move on to the next part of the process."

--Jackson said he simply wasn't going to concern himself with the labor situation because it was out of his control.

He insisted the Raiders had a plan in place -- one that was apparent when they brought back Richard Seymour, Stanford Routt, Kamerion Wimbley and Rock Cartwright.

"We're going to get ready for our offseason program, and if someone tells us we can't, then we can't. We'll go to Plan B," Jackson said.

--Owner Al Davis had little nice to say about Tom Cable when he was let go as head coach, but Jackson hoped to follow the lead of his predecessor in one area.

"I think that Tom did a great job communicating with his players," Jackson said. "I think it's very important that our players have an avenue to talk to you, voice their concerns, their feelings, because they're the ones playing.

"He did a great job of saying, 'I'm leading' and as all 32 coaches will tell you, leading men and preparing guys to play is the biggest part of the job."

--Reporters hoping to get Jackson bite regarding his interest in former pupil Chad Ochocinco of the Bengals came up empty.

"I knew that question was going to be thrown out," Jackson said. "You guys know I cannot comment on players who are on other teams, and obviously the player you just mentioned I know very well. He plays for the Bengals right now and I'm sure Marvin (Lewis), who is a good friend of mine, would get upset if I started talking about his players."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The biggest thing for me is trying to find time to work out. You just don't have the time. You look up at the clock, you want to work out, and you don't have the time to do it." -- Raiders coach Hue Jackson on being a head coach as opposed to a coordinator.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

OFFSEASON STRATEGY

Left guard Robert Gallery, drafted to be the Raiders' left tackle of the future but whose career didn't take off until he moved inside to guard, said he and the club have agreed to part ways whenever free agency resumes.

"With the end of the league year coming and the few conversations I've had with the Raiders and Mr. Davis, we've come to a mutual agreement that it's time for me to move on with my career," Gallery told ESPN. "I appreciate the start they and Mr. Davis gave me and I truly enjoyed my time wearing the silver and black. I thank the fans and take away great memories from my time in Oakland."

Gallery was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft, but struggled at both left and right tackle and with injuries throughout his career. The Raiders got their best play out of Gallery when he moved to left guard in 2007 at the behest of former coach Tom Cable.

Gallery was a vocal supporter of Cable before he was replaced as head coach by Hue Jackson. Cable is now the assistant head coach and line coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER:

--LB Kamerion Wimbley (re-signed).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED:

--RB Rock Cartwright: Potential UFA; terms unknown.

--CB Stanford Routt: Potential UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

--LB Kamerion Wimbley: FFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST: None.

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