A presumptive look at Raiders' 2014 starters

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26
8:00
AM ET
Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen broached many topics Tuesday in his meeting with reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Among then, Allen acknowledged that the Raiders signed LaMarr Woodley, who played linebacker in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 3-4 defensive alignment, to play defensive end in Oakland’s 4-3 defense.

That the Raiders still need to add “at least” one more cornerback to the roster as well as depth to the defensive line.

That recently signed right tackle Austin Howard could be moved to right guard, and that last year’s second-round draft pick, Menelik Watson, is being counted upon to solidify right tackle.

And that there is a certain sense of urgency for Allen and his staff after consecutive 4-12 seasons.

As such, and two weeks after free agency began, it’s never too soon to forecast starting 11s on both sides of the ball, no?

LT Donald Penn – Grew up rooting for the Los Angeles Raiders, now gets to protect the quarterback’s blind side.

LG Kevin Boothe – Should be an interesting camp battle between Boothe, a Raiders draft pick in 2006, and re-signed swing man Khalif Barnes.

C Stefen Wisniewski – The rock of the offensive line.

RG Austin Howard – Has not played here in a game yet, but Raiders believe career right tackle has versatility to make it happen.

RT Menelik Watson – So much trust being placed in Watson’s ability to stay healthy.

TE Mychal Rivera – Mentioned by name as one of the Raiders’ potential foundation pieces by Allen.

WR James Jones – Veteran pass-catching presence and chain mover, if not an explosive game-changer.

WR Rod Streater – Became Oakland’s go-to guy last year, but game is similar to that of Jones. Could be Denarius Moore here, or, perhaps, a playmaking receiver they draft. Sammy Watkins, anyone?

QB Matt Schaub – Will be the Raiders’ 16th different starting quarterback since Rich Gannon took his last snap in 2004.

RB Darren McFadden – Raiders got oft-injured back who teases with his potential to return on the cheap. Latavius Murray and Kory Sheets should stay warm.

FB Marcel Reece – How do we put this delicately? The new face of the Raiders needs to touch the ball more in 2014. That is all.

DE Justin Tuck – Brings pedigree, production, rings and respect to a locker room in need of all of the above. Plus, the sweetest face mask in the NFL.

DT Antonio Smith – Yeah, he’s technically an end, but that was in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme. Humor me for a minute here.

NT Stacy McGee – Raiders are very high on last year’s sixth-round draft pick, not only for keeping his nose clean off the field but also for improving on it as a run-stuffer.

DE LaMarr Woodley – Expect longtime linebacker to put on about 10-15 pounds so he can make the conversion to hand-in-the-dirt end, which is where he played in college ... eight years ago.

SLB Sio Moore – Best draft pick of McKenzie-Allen regime thus far. But what does that mean, exactly?

MLB Nick Roach – Steady, heady player in middle of defense who should only improve in second season with Raiders.

WLB Kevin Burnett – Lots of miles on the nine-year veteran, but should have relief with improved D-line in front of him. Should be pushed by Kaluka Maiava and Miles Burris ... if they’re healthy.

CB D.J. Hayden – Like Watson, so much is expected of the second-year player, especially since he’ll have the benefit of a full offseason program this time around after missing most of it last year recovering from near-fatal freak football accident.

CB Tarell Brown – Solid, knowledgeable veteran who should solidify the side of the field opposite Hayden.

FS Charles Woodson – Both he and the Raiders believe he has something left in the tank. We’re about to find out.

SS Tyvon Branch – Limited to a game-and-a-half last year, his return would be huge for the secondary, right?

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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