The Oakland Raiders hold the third overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, where they must find an immediate contributor. The team and general manager Reggie McKenzie would like to trade down in order to stock pile more picks, especially because they do not hold selections in the second and fifth rounds. If they can't get a deal done, the Raiders could look at drafting Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.
Despite signing cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins in free agency this offseason, Oakland still needs help at the position. Last season the Raiders learned the hard way that depth in the secondary is vital. They lost starters Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer for extended time and were forced to move Michael Huff from free safety to cornerback. Because of the revolving door at cornerback, the Raiders struggled to stop opposing pass offenses. During a two game stretch last year, Oakland allowed Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning to combine for 722 yards and seven touchdowns.
Milliner has floated to the top of a solid cornerback class in this year's NFL Draft. At the NFL Combine he solidified his status by running a 4.37 forty yard dash. With that speed and his stellar play at Alabama, Milliner will make it difficult for the Raiders to pass on him. He made 29 starts in his three years with the Tide, including 12 his junior year and 11 as a true freshman. The 6-1, 200 pound prospect had 34 career pass break-ups and six interceptions on a defense loaded with next level talent.
The Raiders will take a long look at Milliner, but issues on the defensive front could prevent them from making the selection. The team has a number of holes especially on the defensive side of the ball, which is the reason they want to trade down. The Raiders will continue to keep Milliner near the top of their draft board as April 25th approaches.
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