Rolando McClain is gone. Long gone. The purported cornerstone of the Raiders defense at middle linebacker was finally -- thankfully, according to many fans -- kicked to the curb when he was waived on April 5.
Oakland had already signed unrestricted free agent Nick Roach, late of the Chicago Bears, to purportedly take McClain's place as the quarterback of the Raiders' base 4-3 defense at middle linebacker.
So how, if at all, do the Raiders address the position in the NFL Draft? We continue our position-by-position series on the Raiders' draft outlook with a look at the inside linebackers…
[RELATED: 2013 NFL Draft central]
Who's here: Nick Roach, Travis Goethel
Draft needs: With the reported four-year, $13-million contract the Raiders bestowed upon Roach and Miles Burris open to the possibility of moving inside, the Raiders seem set at middle linebacker. Especially if Goethel is healthy. But can a rebuilding team ever have enough depth, especially if, as the Raiders say, said team will be multiple in schemes? Indeed, if the Raiders draft a middle/inside linebacker this year, it will be for depth purposes, not to become the face of the defense. As was the intent three years ago with McClain.
Good fits: At one point, I had Notre Dame's Manti Te'o earmarked for the Raiders as he seemingly fit the profile -- motor as high as his character, tireless worker, respected leader. Then came his poor performance in the BCS title game against Alabama, followed by his "catfishing" expose.
With Roach in Oakland, the best fit here would more of a project, so to speak, a more malleable player to learn on the job without the pressure of starting right away. North Carolina's Kevin Reddick started at middle linebacker for the Raiders coaching staff in the Senior Bowl and is seen by many as a third-round prospect. The other pure inside linebacker the Raiders coached in Mobile, Ala., was Rutgers' Steve Beauharnais, a late-round candidate.