Raiders post-frenzy free agent rankings

We posted our original free agent rankings for the Raiders this weekend, and many of those players have been signed. Oakland addressed three needs on the first official day of free agency, but a few glaring holes remain.

One of those is wide receiver, and will not be fixed in free agency. That’s the necessary preamble, so lets get after it:

1. RB DeMarco Murray Murray is coming off a monster season, and the Raiders might have won two more games with even an average rushing attack. This puts them at five wins with one transaction.

2. LB Curtis Lofton The middle linebacker market was pretty barren, and Lofton is a stopgap player at 29 years old when the season begins. But there’s nothing wrong with that, since Lofton posted 100 tackles in 2014 for the Saints, who released him due to cap concerns. Add two more wins with a real run-stopper.

3. G Clint Boling Mike Iupati and Orlando Franklin are off the market, but Boling is a consistent bull in the run game. He’s not much of a pass blocker, which is certainly a flaw. But run-blocking is what Oakland needs.

4. LB Brandon Spikes The Raiders could close on Lofton by Tuesday evening, but that still wouldn’t take Spikes off this list. The man is a presence, and while not a good cover backer, stopping the run is needed. Badly.

5. OT Anthony Collins Collins is coming off a very down year following a big contract with Tampa this time last year. Nonetheless, he could come cheap and push the competition at right tackle.

6. DT Nick Fairley While Ndamukong Suh stole the headlines, Fairley is fairly good. And that’s being fairly modest. Okay, so he’s good for a pun or two as well. Maybe four sacks. And certainly a presence in the run game.

7. DE Jabaal Sheard Should the Raiders have found something less than ideal in Justin Tuck‘s exit physical, Sheard would be a viable upgrade. And he’s a few years younger.

8. WR Steve Johnson Though there are no game-changing receivers available, Johnson could become one of Derek Carr‘s best friends. He’s not elite, nor will he ever be, but is a serviceable option.

9. FS Rahim Moore The Raiders desperately need help at safety. Moore is a question mark after a serious knee injury in 2013, but he rebounded well and is worth kicking the tires on. Should be reasonably priced.

10. CB Shareece Wright Going over some brief comparisons with Wright and Brandon Flowers has made me a believer that Wright hasn’t yet played his best football. And the last two seasons have been pretty good ones.

11. TE Jermaine Gresham A very athletic tight end who carries the upside of Julius Thomas while he was with Peyton Manning. But Gresham has been perennially underwhelming.

12. LB Jason Worilds Worilds was higher on the earlier version of this list, but given the day’s activity, has fallen a bit. Worilds might be best returning to Pittsburgh.

13. CB Darrelle Revis Revis should be higher on this list, but frankly, it’s difficult to reason he ends up with Oakland. And at 30 years old, how long can he keep it up?

14. S Kendrick Lewis He’s nothing more than a stopgap at safety, and would be an above average backup on the better half of NFL rosters. Still, Lewis would be an upgrade for the Raiders.

15. G Justin Blalock Blalock is an older lineman, but has ties to offensive line coach Mike Tice, who came to Oakland this offseason. Serviceable in both offensive facets.

16. TE Jordan Cameron The market for Cameron has been quiet, probably because of the things he said about the Browns organization recently. He’s a solid player, but not certain he’s a fit in Oakland.

17. RB Reggie Bush Bush fits Musgrave’s uptempo scheme well, and though he’s 30, should still have some tread on those tires. Burn rubber, Mr. Bush.

18. WR Percy Harvin Unbelievably talented, with a penchant for wearing out his welcome as fast as he can return a punt.

19. WR Brandon Lloyd Possibly the best hands in the league, this old man isn’t much of a speedster anymore. But he still has another year in him.

20. RT Joe Barksdale Barksdale was initially higher on this list, though it’s beginning to feel unrealistic he lands with Oakland. That’s not to say there’s not a fit — or many suitors for his services.


Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.