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Oakland Raiders Missed on Defensive Lineman in the NFL Draft

Most Dire Need Wasn't Met Until the Sixth Round

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | With the 2013 NFL draft officially in the books, the Oakland Raiders addressed several of their problems that needed to be fixed immediately.

General manager Reggie McKenzie drafted Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden with the 12th overall pick after trading down with the Miami Dolphins and received a much-needed second round pick as well. Taking Hayden helped fill the Raiders' need in the secondary, as McKenzie has filled the roster with bargained veteran free agents this offseason.

With an additional pick under his belt, McKenzie decided to pass on a much-needed defensive lineman in the second round. And the third. And the fourth.

And without a fifth-rounder, the Raiders finally drafted a defensive lineman in the sixth round.

I'm surprised McKenzie waited so long to address such a dire need that late in the draft when there was clearly still talent on the board.

The Raiders took a nice offensive tackle in Menelik Watson in the second round, even though defensive linemen Johnathan Hankins and Margus Hunt were both still available. Don't get me wrong, the Raiders' offensive line wasn't the best last year, but the defensive line was just atrocious after finishing 31st in the NFL in sacks.

McKenzie made it perfectly clear he was drafting based on overall talent instead of need, but you have to wonder why exactly he waited until the latter stages of the draft to fix his horrendous defensive line.

He did bring in some veterans in free agency to replace Tommy Kelly, Desmond Bryant and Richard Seymour, but Pat Sims and Vance Walker aren't exactly scaring the daylights out of anybody.

The defensive line was a need that should have been met as soon as possible, and McKenzie waited too long to fix it. Granted, he's the one pulling the strings and I'm just writing about it, but I think Raider Nation agrees that the Raiders needed to take a lineman much sooner than the sixth round.

Stacy McGee and David Bass, the two defensive linemen McKenzie drafted, aren't exactly the cream of the crop in terms of overall talent. However, McKenzie sees something in them that he likes, so only time will tell if this was a good move for the second-year general mananger of the Raiders.

The Raiders had a solid draft that will make them a better team in 2013, but McKenzie should have drafted a lineman much sooner than the sixth round.

Steven Slivka is a Freelance Writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

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