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Raiders Mailbag: Big decisions to make heading into free agency and the draft

Joe Byrd says:

"Now Adams is off the board, J.C. Jackson is the logical target."

Jackson was a fan favorite in New England after going from an undrafted cornerback out of Maryland to a Pro Bowler who led the league in pass deflections last season. It may cost the Raiders a pretty penny for Jackson's services, but I do agree that signing him would be a very logical decision.

For starters, General Manager Dave Ziegler was instrumental in bringing Jackson to the Patriots in 2018 when he was still their director of pro personnel. The Raiders defense could use Jackson after recording a league-low six interceptions last season – two less than Jackson himself had last season with the Patriots.

And just to play devil's advocate, Davante Adams isn't quite off the board just yet. The receiver was franchise tagged by the Green Bay Packers, but he could always get traded to a willing bidder.

Rob Estep says:

"Draft Chris Olave or Garrett Wilson at WR."

Rob, I'm glad to see you join me on the Ohio State wideout train.

If you kept up with our Combine coverage last week (shameless plug), then you already know how I feel about Olave and Wilson. I honestly believe they are the pound-for-pound best wide receivers in their draft class, with the potential to be immediate productive players on the next level. Both looked great in drills and ran sub-4.4 times in the 40-yard dash, not to mention they put together a lot of good tape to evaluate in their three seasons together at Ohio State.

The two also met with the Raiders at the Combine. Both could be in play for the No. 22 pick, even if the Raiders make a splashy free agent signing at the same position. I wouldn't be surprised if one of these two had the same success that Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase has had recently as rookies.

Scott Boe asks:

"Who are the under-the-radar guys at our positions of need? I'm personally the conductor on the Christian Kirk hype train."

Christian Kirk is definitely a talented player, and many wouldn't be opposed to him becoming a Raider.

The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has built a noteworthy chemistry with quarterback Kyler Murray, as he's caught 14 touchdowns from Murray in their three seasons together. While Kirk has said he's open to testing free agency, I believe that will likely find himself back in Glendale with his Heisman-winning quarterback. Additionally Kirk has primarily played slot receiver in Arizona, and the Raiders already have "The Slot Machine" Hunter Renfrow – who had nine touchdowns and over 1,000 receiving yards last season.

My two under-the-radar guys I believe would fit the Raiders needs more accordingly are Akiem Hicks and DJ Chark. Hicks would bring an immediate presence and veteran leadership to the interior defensive line, paired next to the likes of Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. He had 3.5 sacks in nine games last season.

Chark was the highlight of a few lowly Jaguars teams, as he was their leading receiver in 2019 and 2020. After his production decreased with the arrival of Marvin Jones, he'll be looking to land somewhere he can be utilized to his fullest capabilities.

View the remaining top 101 NFL free agents of 2022, according to's Gregg Rosenthal. (Last updated Tuesday, March 29)

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