The calendar has turned and it’s officially draft month!
With just over three weeks until Roger Goodell starts reading out names in Nashville, Tenn., excitement for the next chapter of the offseason is heating up, and I’ll do my best to keep the positive vibes rolling in this week’s edition of the Raiders.com Mailbag.
From what the Raiders should do in late in the first round, to a quick look at our journeys abroad this year, and our traditional inquiry from our digital czar Dave, let’s get to your questions.
EP: I think you hit the nail on the head by saying tight end late in the first round. Now, would I be a fan of the team adding a linebacker or maybe another edge rusher to the mix with one of the two, late-first round picks? Absolutely, but with Jared Cook now residing in New Orleans, I think the Silver and Black would be smart to add another tight end to that group.
Now, that’s certainly not an indictment on Luke Willson, who the Raiders signed last week, but I think in today’s version of the NFL, having a stable of playmakers on the offensive side of the football is an absolute must, and I’d like to see Gruden and Mayock add another one on Day 1 of the Draft.
I know Kyle Martin, our resident draft analyst, is high on both the young fellas from Iowa, so keep an eye on them. Let’s be honest though, nobody really knows what’s going to happen the night of April 25.
EP: Luis, I sure hope so, brother, our trips to the Azteca are some of my fondest memories as a Raider (more on another great trip below).
Alas, that return won’t happen this season, as Coach Gruden and Co., are scheduled to return to England to take on the Chicago Bears. Speaking of that game though, we should know exactly when that game will be played coming up soon when the league releases the regular season schedule.
If history repeats itself, we should get the regular season in late-April right before the Draft.
EP: Check back in a few weeks, after the Draft.
For what it’s worth, Coach Gruden said that the door for Marshawn Lynch would never be fully closed; now we just have to wait and see how it shakes out.
From Dave G: Which road game are you looking forward to most in 2019?
EP: This is an easy one for me, it has to be the Silver and Black’s trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. One of the best parts of this gig is hitting the road with the team and checking out the different NFL cities/stadiums, and while I’ve been fortunate enough to knock almost every current combination off my list, I must admit there’s something special about Green Bay.
The Raiders played at Lambeau in the preseason a few years ago, and even just getting a taste of what the stadium was like on gameday was something I’ll remember for a long time.
I’ve been pounding the drum since we found out our 2019 opponents, saying that every member of Raider Nation who can should make the pilgrimage out to Wisconsin this season, it’s one you won’t forget.
Fingers crossed this game is in December.
There are 26 Raiders enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.