Raiders head to Combine with eyes wide open
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No doubt the Raiders have many needs when it comes to April's NFL draft. A 4-12 season will bear that out.

But a month after the Senior Bowl, in which the entire Raiders coaching staff had a hands-on experience coaching the North squad in Alabama, Oakland will again receive a head start on scouting for the draft.

The Raiders having five assistants and a scout working this week on the field with the prospects at the Combine should also bear that out.

Quarterbacks coach John DeFillipo, defensive backs coach Johnny Lynn, receivers coach Ted Gilmore, defensive line coach Terrell Williams, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and scout Mickey Marvin, a longtime former right guard for the Raiders, will be working personally with the Combine invitees.

When it comes to scouting the draft, the Raiders cannot say they did not do their due diligence.

As it stands now, the Raiders hold the No. 3 overall draft pick, though many observers expect them to trade down for additional picks. Especially since the Raiders do not have a second-round selection (Carson Palmer trade) or a fifth-round pick (Aaron Curry deal), though they do expect to receive at least one mid- to late-round compensatory pick after losing free agents Quentin Groves, Samson Satele, Michael Bush and Jason Campbell, and have an additional seventh-rounder as a result of the Louis Murphy trade.

An appealing trade partner would seemingly be the St. Louis Rams, who hold two first-rounders, at No. 16 and No. 22.