The Oakland Raiders have control of the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, thanks to some massive deals they made last season. Now with three picks in the opening round, they are still considering trading away their picks. Oakland's coach Jon Gruden has said that there is big potential for trades heading into the draft. Gruden is now working with new GM Mike Mayock to rebuild the Oakland roster. They are looking to bring in younger players and offer more roster flexibility moving forward.

This doesn't get rid of the possibility that the Raiders will bring in established veterans.

Gruden says he is also looking for young players in free agency. There are not many who fit the build in the free agency market, but the Raiders appear they can find the right guy.

Raiders look to NFL Draft to bring in new talent

The upcoming NFL Draft is still key to improving the Raiders for the next season. Raiders fans are still confused and angry over the decision to trade away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for draft picks. However, those decisions can not be fully analyzed until the Raiders select and develop the players they draft.

It will take a number of seasons, before fans and league insiders can tell whether those deals help or hurt the Raiders.

Moving forward, Mike Mayock should have a solid plan for growing the team and moving forward. The deals they do or don't put in place around the draft are now part of Gruden and Mayock's strategy to improve. The Raiders are unclear about what the plan is, but they definitely have one with three first-round picks at their disposal.

Oakland Raiders need to focus on improving their defense

NFL.com has said that Oakland's biggest needs on defense are edge-rusher, defensive back, and linebacker. This coming draft could help them turn things around following a sour 4-12 record. Several league insiders have ranked six defensive linemen ranked in the top 10 on mock draft boards. Several linebackers and four cornerbacks have also been considered as first-round prospects.

The Raiders are heading to the NFL scouting combine next week. The 2019 NFL draft will take place in April. Gruden has said that the team still does not know who they are picking yet. Gruden told the "The Game Plan" podcast that they are proud of the Raiders tradition, but acknowledges that things need to be fixed. He shared his disgust of only have one winning season over the last 16 seasons.

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