2010 Raiders. Not a Superbowl team, but the best team since the Superbowl team. Tom Cable wasn't liked by all fans but the players really liked him. Many players including one of the leaders in Oakland team captain Shane Lechler went on record saying firing Tom Cable was going to be a set back and Michael Bush wouldn't return to Oakland. He said Cable brought a no nonsense approach which was exactly what the team needed.
The 2010 Raiders went 6-0 in the division and they blew out the Broncos and Seahawks in back to back weeks in a fashion I've never seen before. For once lots was going right in Oakland. Dmc was breaking out. Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy were showing to be late round gems. Al Davis showed he still had it with a solid draft of McClain, Houston, Veldheer, Ford, Bruce Campbell, and Stevie Brown. The 2010 Raiders were a defensive team with an offense that was only getting better. The Raiders really had something with HC Tom Cable and OC Hue Jackson. With the strong draft and coaching stability the Raiders would be set up for years to come or so we thought....
2011 Raiders. Tom Cable and John Marshall were fired. Hue Jackson was promoted and the biggest mistake was the hiring of Chuck Brenashan as the DC. I'll get back to that later.
The draft didn't really impress. Maybe because Richard Seymour was the 1st round pick. Though it had some bright spots like Wiz and Dmoore.
It started going downhill when Free Agency started. A few days after the lockout ended Free Agency began. Losing key team players like Mike Bush, Zach Miller, and Asomougha. While giving players like Route, Wimbly, and Kelly huge deals. From a fan perspective I thought they would be alright and they were. For awhile.
The 2011 Raiders were an offensive team. Dmc lead the league in rushing until he got injured. Palmer was throwing the ball deep after Campbell got injured. The death of Al Davis was a huge blow to the franchise but didn't seem to affect their play until late in the season. Brenashan said he would ask Al multiple questions during the week on how to run the defense. That's why Al hired him. So Al could be the Defensive Coordinator and use Chuck as a puppet. The Raiders defense was terrible and couldn't stop Tebow, Megatron, or Philip Rivers in a game that if won would mean playoffs. Many defensive players got worse under Brenashan. McClain, Houston, and several others regressed. Hue Jackson then turned on his team and pointed fingers. Though Hue got a lot out of his offense it wasn't perfect and would have been better if he would have just kept running the offense instead of running the entire team as well as the offense.
2012 Raiders. Mark Davis hired Reggie McKenzie with the help of John Madden. McKenzie hired Dennis Allen but was a little late and most of the better assistant coaches were already taken. He settled for the mad scientist up at Standford Jason Tarver and hired the QB coach from the Texans Gregg Knapp. Knapp will be known forever as the guy that killed the Raiders's 2012 season.
Salary cap issues and a tiny draft also helped Knapp kill the season. Wheeler, Burris, and Rod Streater were the only additions worth noting.
The 2012 Raiders started out as an offensive team. The team's secondary got picked apart the first three quarters of the season. After the heartbreaking loss against TB everything was terrible. The 2nd game against the Broncos the defense actually looked like an NFL defense. Not a very good one but an average NFL defense that could at least slow down Peyton Manning. The defense played well enough to keep it close against SD twice, KC twice, Denver once, Carolina, Cleveland, Atlanta, Jax, and Pit. 10 games and the offense could only win 4. Tarver and Allen had the defense playing hard the last quarter of the season. 2012 Raiders defense was better then their offense. That's not saying much.
2013 Raiders? Dennis Allen and Jason Tarver return. The third Olson twin Greg will be the new OC. He's bringing the power blocking back at least some of it.
That's all we know right now. The rest is just me predicting.
Oakland will be able to afford a handful of better free agents this year. Maybe 1 or 2 proven vets and 1 or 2 Philip Wheeler like players.Teams switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 usually cut or trade away players at a cheap price. Some good teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and the Giant's are rumored to be getting rid of some players maybe the Raiders could use.
Oakland holds the 3rd pick in the draft. GM Reggie McKenzie has made it clear he will take the best player available. He wants a player that will push the middle.
Many fans would like to trade back to pick up some extra picks but what if the Raiders can't find a trading partner? This mock has no trades but has the Raiders getting a 5th and 6th round comp pick.
1st Round: Star Lotulelei DT Utah 6-4 325
It's either Star or Luke Joeckel. Whichever one falls to Oakland. Hopefully Chiefs take a shot on Geno Smith or Jags take a pass rusher so Oakland can get one of the players you can build a team around. With Seymour gone and Kelly likely gone sooner or later Oakland could really use a top talent like Star to build around. He's a monster in the middle that can stop the run and take on two blockers. He has a ton potential and makes the Raiders better his first day of practice. With Star Oakland will be able to run that multiple defense Dennis Allen wants.
3rd Round: Brandon Jenkins DE FSU 6-3 260
The dreadful Lisfranc sprain ended his senior season in the first week. If he played probably would of been an early 2nd round pick. He will most likely drop a round. He broke out in 2010 with 13.5 sacks, adding 21.5 tackles for loss. Jenkins' production fell in his junior season as he finished with 8.0 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss, but both still led the team. He will be able to compete for the starting RE next year and might be the best rusher on the team as soon as he gets there.
4th Round: Philip Thomas FS 6-1 215 Fresno State
Mike Huff's contract is very expensive and Huff's play is only worth a quarter of it. Mike Mitch has also earned more playing time at either safety spot depending on where they would like to put Branch. As we saw this year the team needs more depth at the safety position. Thomas can go up and come down with the ball as he lead the nation in picks with 8 and 3 were returned for TDs. He didn't play top competition but still had really impressive stats with 84 tackles with 12 for a loss, 4 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. Could contribute on special teams right away and eventually become a starter.
5th Round: Keith Pough OLB 6-3 236 Howard
An anti McClain like player. Great Motor and plays hard. Needs coached up some but could actually compete for an OLB spot especially if Burris sees more time inside. Was a top player in the shrine game as this is what I read.
"While his physical attributes are noteworthy, Pough has also impressed with his terrific approach to the game of
football with his non-stop motor and competitive attitude, showing the same on-field intensity whether it's practice
or a game.
"Pough has easily been the loudest player on the field during practice this week. And yes, that includes the
coaches. He brings a lot of energy to the defense and isn't afraid to tell a teammate when he needs to improve,
although his critiques are much more uplifting and supportive, not insulting. And with his physical, violent playing
style, Pough's bite matches his bark." - Dane Brugler NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
6th Round Marcus Lattimore RB 6-0 220 Texas A&M
I'm gonna call this pick the Michael Bush pick. Everyone knows him and we all saw that disturbing knee injury. Lattimore is no AP and if they have him jogging by the time the playoffs come next year it will be a goal reached. If he could come in 2014 healthy the Raiders would look smart using this pick on Lattimore.
6th Round Jake Stoneburner TE 6-5 245 Ohio St.
He needs coached but could push for a roster spot. Got arrested and switched back and fourth from wide out to tight end to fullback back to tight end. He needs to perform well at the combine to get picked here. Seems like a good project with little risk high reward. With Myers contract Oakland may need a new TE. WIth Ausberry and Richard Gordon on the roster maybe there's room for Stoneburner on the roster. He's got a pretty cool name. Not Slade Norris but still cool.
7th Round Montori Hughes, DT 6-4 340 Tennessee-Martin
Another low risk high reward pick. He can beat double teams and if worked out would be a huge steal. Would be able to give a Star a breather. Having Star and Hughes on the line would really help the goal-line defense. He has some issues but if he acted up Reggie could just cut his ass.
Will the 2013 Raiders be an offensive or defensive team?
Tarver will have more talent at his disposal while McFadden gets his blocking scheme back.
What do you think?