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Look for Raiders to draft free safety in 2nd or 3rd round

After addressing their right tackle position in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, the Raiders probably will turn their attention to their open free safety spot in the second or third rounds.

The Raiders have the 48th overall pick in the second round and Nos. 79 and 80 in the third, putting them in prime position to add a potential immediate starter.

Free safety, in particular, is still ripe with Texas Christian’s Trevon Moehrig, Central Florida’s Richie Grant and Oregon’s Jevon Holland available. Grant and Holland are projected to fall near the 48th pick.

Grant and Holland are projected to be able to handle the deep safety position opposite Johnathan Abram and fill an important role in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s COVER-3 defense.

If the Raiders go for a defensive tackle or linebacker, Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon (DT) and Louisiana State’s Jabril Cox (LB) probably would be available in the second or third round.

Other defensive players to watch are Southern California tackles Marlon Tuipulotu and Jay Tufele, LSU linebacker Jabril Cox, Iowa tackle Daviyon Nixon, Syracuse free safety Andre Cisco, Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo and North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt.

Cisco, in particular, offers intrigue as a ball-hawking safety with the ability to force turnovers. The Raiders have been among the NFL’s worst teams in creating turnovers the past two seasons and desperately need playmakers who can make game-altering plays.

With only four offensive linemen under contract beyond this season, the Raiders could double-dip at that position Friday. Some players to watch are North Dakota State tackle/guard Dillon Radunz, Northern Iowa tackle Spencer Brown and Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks.

Among the best remaining players are linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, defensive tackle Christian Barmore, offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, defensive end Azeez Ojulari, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., offensive lineman Landon Dickerson and defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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