Part of the game of football isn't just on the field; it's also finding ways to weaken an opponent on their roster. Should the Oakland Raiders do that by keeping an eye on Ed Dickson of the Baltimore Ravens?
Many questions around Raiders tight ends and Carson Palmer
The offensive identity of the Silver and Black is largely in place at least for the first week. Oakland hopes quarterback Carson Palmer can get over his interception problems, while Darren McFadden takes pressure off the young Raiders receivers. It isn't perfect but at least they have a plan. Some teams aren't so lucky. Oakland can become a really good team this season if they stay healthy and don't make mistakes. However, they can't totally mask some roster holes that could come back to haunt them. Among the biggest is tight end. After years of having Pro Bowl talent Zach Miller, the Raiders have struggled to find a reliable replacement. Brandon Myers is only the latest one to get his shot. Coaches and media in the Oakland area like his size but haven't raved about his skill. In fact the latest breakdown of the coming games against San Diego doesn't even mention the Raiders tight ends as a force. Either it's disrespect or a sad truth. Oakland doesn't need a tight end to make the playoffs, but history shows having one can mean the difference between good and great on offense. Are there names they should keep tabs on?
Joe Flacco and injuries will decide NFL future of Dickson
Amazingly there is one player many have ignored since last season who stands to become a free agent in 2013. Ed Dickson came on midway through last year to become a favorite target for quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. His 500+ receiving yards and five touchdowns were a key compliment to the run-pass attack led by coÃ¶rdinator Cam Cameron. Another good year could clinch a new deal for Dickson, but Baltimore has a history of short-changing tight ends if they have problems such as age or injury. The young tight end hasn't stayed healthy all off-season, and his problems with dropping passes still linger in the minds of many people. His NFL stock depends on him helping Flacco become the pass-first quarterback Ravens fans have waited for. If not he will have to try his luck with another team. Oakland already has speed in their receiving corps. Dickson would add size and an ability to run block. As long as the price isn't too high, he would become a good fit.
The Oakland Raiders have a plan to build through the draft. By taking Ed Dickson from the Baltimore Ravens, they could save their picks for more important roster spots next April. Carson Palmer would not complain.