The Oakland Raiders need to select a defensive tackle in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Raiders completed a supreme job in free agency. They added Sean Smith, Reggie Nelson and Bruce Irvin to boost an already improving defensive unit.

Now, they must build on that through the NFL Draft by addressing another area of concern. Please Oakland, draft a defensive tackle.

This class is too deep to miss out on a defensive tackle in the first few rounds. Oakland knows it too. They already met with Robert Nkemdiche and Jonathan Bullard who could go anywhere in the first two rounds.

Forget if you like Mario Edwards Jr., Justin Ellis or Denico Autry. Those guys each have roles in our defense, but there are a number of names who could instantly upgrade the position.

Edwards Jr. could play as a stand up or outside end in either the 4-3 or 3-4 looks. Meanwhile, Autry and Ellis supply solid rotational depth. Add a starting-caliber defensive tackle and the Raiders could have one of the best units around.

Cross trading Muhammad Wilkerson off the list too. No need to pay a king’s ransom with valuable players across the board.

Instead, look at a guy like Nkemdiche as high as No. 14. He brings some character concers, but the Raiders are filled with leaders. Nkemdiche brings athleticism that can not be taught. He would be the ideal pick, according to my Mock Draft.

Otherwise, Sheldon Rankins also comes into play at fourteen. He warrants comparisons to Aaron Donald because of his hands and natural pass rushing ability.

Deforest Buckner may also be available. He also brings top level athleticism.

However, it is unlikely Rankins or Buckner fall to 14. Some people like Jarran Reed or A’Shawn Robinson, however, neither bring the type of pass rushing that you want in a first round pick. They also benefited from playing on a deep Alabama defense.

Bullard and Kenny Clark are some names to keep an eye on atop the second. Both are the versatile and productive players that the Raiders would convent. Clark especially showed good strength and athleticism at the combine.

Vernon Butler and Andrew Billings may also slip into the second round. There big bodies would be redundant with Ellis and Dan Williams on the roster. Raiders should skip them, unless their value is too much to pass up.

Potential round three picks include Sheldon Day and Chris Jones. Jones is a long and tall hybrid end and tackle. While Day is a pure 4-3 tackle with good athleticism. Either could contribute out of the middle rounds.

In closing, the Raiders can get too much value at defensive tackle. They must grab one in the first three rounds. Adding a player who can heavily contribute in the trenches is a major key for the No. 22 ranked defense. Depth on the defensive line is necessary for a contender in a long NFL season.

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