Let's face it having Al Davis as an owner isn't exactly fun. Of our last 10 first round picks only two have made it to the pro bowl and one of them were a kicker. Al Davis once again hired an offensive minded coach to head us into 09' despite seeing coach after coach fail in this predicament. We just saw two of the better secondary men (Gibril Wilson and DeAngelo Hall) in the NFL leave Oakland for no compensation, and our huge investments in Terdell Sands, Tommy Kelly, and Javon Walker have all been for naught. Despite all the adversity there is hope to be had in Oakland.
- Oakland has been extremely quite in free agency when contrasted to last off seasons spending spree ala Al Davis.
- Signings by the Raiders include Jeff Garcia, Samson Satele, Marcus Johnson, Khaliff Barnes, Erik Pears, and Bruce Gradkowski.
- That's four offensive linemen and two quarter backs. at least two of those offensive linemen will start in 2009 in Satele and Barnes. I'd say our LT position is pretty set with Henderson manning that spot after a surprising breakout season in 08.
- Speculation says the Raiders will take a WR in the first round in the draft next week. I personally would love to see that happen, however I don't want to see Oakland take Jeremy Maclin or Darius Heyward-Bey. I want to see Oakland draft Michael Crabtree. Could you imagine how much destruction Crabtree would cause with Zach Miller, Jamarcus Russel, and Darren McFadden on the same offense?
- While Maclin and Bey are faster, Crabtree is the most NFL ready wide reciever in this draft. Heck people said the same about Tedd Ginn (Maclin), Robert Meachem (Bey), and Dwayne Bowe (Crabtree), and who panned out better? I think the answer is painfully obvious to us.
- Many may argue that help at NT may be more imminent but I plea to you please stop sipping the Rajii juice. He's vastly overrated and his rushing buddy Ron Brace is much more effective and can be had in the second round. Help at RG can be found in third round prospects such as Fenuki Tupou and Herman Johnson.
Looking to the future
- Oakland has a lot of reasons between the draft and free agency to believe it has an offense that could compete in the upper echelons in the league. If Al Davis shapes up and gives us a solid draft we could be in competition with San Diego for playoffs.
- The Chiefs could surprise this year. They have just about every position filled out for their new 3-4, and their offense is starting to look down right scary. Still they've done nothing to adress the worst pass rush in NFL history so it may not count for much.
- Denver is in shambles. McBonehead went and threw a perfectly fine playoff contender into rebuilding mode, the scary thing about Denver is that it has two firsts for the next two drafts.
- The AFC West is getting strong and very young. Oakland, Denver, San Diego and Kansas City may very well be the next NFC East like divisional powerhouse, and Oakland has all the tools to be a top contender in this division for a long time provided Al Davis drafts well THIS YEAR.