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Raiders Mailbag: Which Raiders legend would you add to this year's roster?

Austin Capps asks:

"If you could bring back any Raiders player from any era to play this season, who would you pick?"

What a fantastic question, and there are honestly so many options.

You can't go wrong with choosing any of the many former Raiders players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But going back to the question, Austin is specifically asking who I'd add to this upcoming 2024 Las Vegas Raiders team. With that being said, let's look at the Raiders current position of needs.

Throughout the draft process, Head Coach Antonio Pierce has mentioned desire to add a quarterback and a cornerback to the roster. While looking at quarterback options, the late Ken "Snake" Stabler is arguably one of the greatest signal-callers in franchise history. He led the Silver and Black to their first Super Bowl in the 1976 season, plus has four Pro Bowl selections and a 1974 NFL MVP to his name.

At the cornerback position, there's a who's who of great CBs to play for the Raiders – essentially becoming a hypothetical pick your poison between Hall of Famers Charles Woodson, Mike Haynes and Willie Brown.

But if I had to choose just one player, I'm going to have ride with C-Wood. The Raiders already have a promising outside cornerback in Jack Jones who had two pick-sixes last season. Nate Hobbs has also proven to be a capable cornerback, and arguably the best open field tackler on the roster. However, with the addition of Charles Woodson, you can move Hobbs from outside cornerback back to nickel where he flourished his rookie season. Also, the starting nickel cornerback spot will be up for grabs as both Amik Robertson and Tyler Hall left in free agency.

Woodson is one of 10 players in football history to win the Heisman Trophy and also be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He still holds franchise records for most forced fumbles (18), pass deflections (84) and is tied for the most defensive touchdowns (13) in NFL history. With Maxx Crosby and Christian Wilkins up front rushing the passer, the addition of Woodson would be a serious problem for opponents.

Héctor Camarena asks:

"Are we drafting a linebacker?"

It certainly is a possibility based off the talent pool at that position.

With Graham running 3-4 base defense, an outside linebacker might be the best route to go later in the draft. Divine Deablo and Robert Spillane have shown glimpses of being a powerful middle linebacker duo.

At No. 13, the best options for the Raiders could be Alabama's Dallas Turner (10 sacks, 14.5 TFLs in 2023) or UCLA's Laiatu Latu (13 sacks, 21.5 TFLs). In later rounds, Turner's teammate Chris Braswell would be another great option with eight sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss last season.

The list of off-ball linebackers is bountiful as well, headlined by NC State's Payton Wilson and Clemson's Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Wilson is the reigning Chuck Bednarik Award winner, given annually to the best defensive player in college football. He also ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.43) of all linebackers at the NFL Combine back in February. Trotter Jr., the son of the former NFL All-Pro linebacker, compiled four interceptions, 13 sacks and nearly 200 total tackles in three seasons at Clemson.

To finish off with an interesting note, General Manager Tom Telesco drafted a linebacker in nine of his 11 seasons with the Chargers.

Shelby Mitchell said:

"Need the offensive line bulked up for sure."

The offensive line is returning four out of five starters, including Thayer Munford Jr. who started 10 games as swing tackle. There are still questions to be answered on who else the Raiders will bring in at guard and who will compete with Munford for the starting right tackle opportunity.

"You want to win now, you want to put the best team together now, but you also understand it's a process," Pierce said of building the O-line. "It's a process, and that's great question about the offensive line, because that's something that we still need to fill there, at that position. And there's 1,000 ways to do it, right? It's not always through free agency. There's a draft, and then there's other ways."

With the draft nearing, the Raiders are in prime position to take an offensive lineman in the first round. Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga and Alabama's JC Latham have been linked to the Silver and Black in several mock drafts. A few top options still available in free agency include 2020 first-rounder Mekhi Becton, former Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner and Greg Van Roten, who started all 17 games at guard for the Raiders in 2023.

Take a look at the best photos from the Las Vegas Raiders Foundation inaugural Silver & Black Gala, an event focused on mental health awareness and fundraising for the Legal Aid of Southern Nevada's Resiliency & Justice Center.

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