Bay Area teams look for talent in the NFL Draft

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OAKLAND

Last year the Oakland Raiders failed to make the playoffs despite going undefeated in the division, Head Coach Tom Cable was fired and replaced by offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson.

With a possible lockout looming, free agency has been halted putting a even greater emphasis on the NFL Draft. Without a first round selection the Raiders are going to have to find value in the later rounds.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Robert Gallery, Langston Walker, Samson Satele, Mario Henderson and Khalif Barnes are all free agents which means a few key linemen will have to be replaced.

POSSIBLE PROSPECTS: Benjamin Ijalana (Villanova), Stefan Wisniewski (Penn St), Rodney Hudson (Florida St), Marcus Cannon (TCU) and Danny Watkins (Baylor) are all valuable picks that could be available.

CORNERBACK: The Raiders made the decision to let shutdown corner Nnamdi Asomugha walk in free agency. It is possible they will be looking for his replacement in the draft.

POSSIBLE PROSPECTS: Aaron Williams (Texas), Brandon Harris (Miami) or Ras-I Dowling (Virginia).

SAN FRANCISCO

The 2011 season was a disappointing one for the San Francisco 49er faithful.

Heading into the season with playoff aspirations the 49ers stumbled out to a woeful 0-5 record and ultimately finishing 6-10.

Like the Raiders, the 49ers made a coaching change firing defensive minded Mike Singletary and hiring hot commodity John Harbaugh who is considered an offensive specialist. The 49ers have the seventh pick in this year’s draft and have many prospects available that could make an immediate impact.

QUARTERBACK: The Alex Smith saga looks to be coming to an end. Who to acquire to take the starting spot?

Do the Niners use the first round pick on Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton (Auburn) or choose between Blaine Gabbert (Missouri) and Jake Locker (Washington)?

It is possible that they wait until the middle rounds to select a quarterback.

CORNERBACK: The 49ers are very weak in the secondary and it would be a dream come true if Patrick Peterson (LSU) fell to them. If not, the Niners will  have to decide if Prince Amukamara (Nebraska) is talented enough to be selected seventh or if they want to wait until the middle rounds  for a Cornerback.

MILLER OR QUINN: Von Miller (Texas A&M) or Robert Quinn (North Carolina) are considered elite 3-4 pass rushers and would be ideal at seven. The Niners haven’t had a ten sack player since Andre Carter.