The Oakland Raiders were clearly one of the most improved teams during the 2015 regular season, and head coach Jack Del Rio will look for his team to build on their 7-9 record in 2016. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has some major decisions to make this offseason, as to who the Raiders will look to target in free agency and what players they will target in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Raiders have plenty of needs to fill this offseason, and positions like safety, offensive line, and inside linebacker are considered the positions that have the greatest need this offseason, according to NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zielein. One potential prospect to keep an eye on is Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was projected as the Raiders' first round pick in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's latest mock draft.
Raiders running back Latavius Murray reached 1,066 rushing yards in his third season in Oakland, and has proven to be a legitimate starting running back in the NFL. While Elliott may not fill the biggest need for the Raiders in the first round of the draft, there is no doubting his talent, as most draft analysts project him as the best running back in the upcoming draft.
Murray is in the last year of his contract in 2016, and Oakland is reportedly looking to add a running back this offseason. It's unclear if Elliott will still be on the board by the time the Raiders select, but if he is it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up with the Silver and Black. The Buckeyes running back rushed for 1,821 yards and scored 23 touchdowns his junior season, and can catch the ball out of the backfield as he had 27 receptions for 206 yards.
Elliott has drawn comparisons with former NFL running back Edgerrin James, and is considered a physical running back that can run through tackles but also can still be elusive and break away from defenders. Multiple teams are likely heavily scouting the talented running back prospect, and expect the Raiders to take an in depth look at Elliott, as he could potentially slide to them in the 2016 NFL Draft.