T.J. McDonald was captain of USC's defense.
Since then, the Raiders have made several adjustments to their coaching staff, including parting ways with the unpopular offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp.
Oakland has nowhere to go but up in 2013 and, with a solid draft, the Raiders could finally reach their potential next season.
A dangerous pass rusher is what they most desperately need with the No. 3 pick in the draft, but several other needs must be addressed by the silver and black.
The Senior Bowl gives college football's most experienced players the opportunity to showcase their talents on the field before the draft and here are a few players the Raiders must have on their radar come April.
The USC Trojans came into the 2012 season as the No. 1 team in the country and fell from grace, ending the year with five losses and a berth in the Sun Bowl as they sputtered through the Pac-12 South.
Despite their disappointing defense, Trojans' free safety T.J. McDonald can still be dangerous in the secondary.
Whether the Raiders draft McDonald will depend on what they plan to do with Michael Huff, who was forced to move to cornerback last season.
McDonald was named All-Pac-12 Second-Team in 2012, and he's ranked as the sixth-best free safety in the draft according to nfldraftscout.com.
If the Raiders are unable to grab cornerback Logan Ryan out of Rutgers in the third round, McDonald would be a solid option to improve their horrible secondary.
Darren McFadden has yet to play an entire 16-game season in the NFL. His inability to stay healthy, along with his contract year approaching in 2014, makes it harder for the Raiders to trust him long-term.
Marcel Reece was a stud in McFadden's absence, but had 62 touches on offense in three weeks in the absence of McFadden. Another running back wouldn't hurt; especially one as explosive as Oregon's Kenjon Barner.
After finishing with over 1,700 yards and 23 total touchdowns in his senior season, Barner will be a solid pickup for whoever chooses to draft him.
He nearly doubled his total yards from a year ago, and has plenty of big-game experience coming from one of the best teams in the country.
The Raiders need to get younger on the defensive line if they want to be contenders in the near future.
If Oakland decides to draft a defensive end with the No. 3 pick in the draft, another lineman would help the Raiders out tremendously if they could trade up for a second-round pick.
North Carolina's Sylvester Williams was named All-ACC Football First-Team in 2012, and has started all 25 games since his junior season. He finished his senior year with 13.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks.
Williams has been projected to be taken in the second round by nfldraftscout.com, and, depending on what the Raiders decide to do with their first pick, Williams would be a huge upgrade for a defensive line that finished 31st in the NFL in sacks in 2012.
Projected as a fourth-rounder by nfldraftscout.com, San Diego State's Leon McFadden is one of the best defensive backs to come out of the west coast in this year's draft.
Since he plays in the Mountain West Conference, McFadden hasn't received the same attention or gotten the national recognition he deserves.
The Raiders are in desperate need of a young cornerback to add to their struggling secondary, and spending their fourth-round pick on McFadden makes sense.
He isn't Dee Milliner, but he can be a solid option if he's still available in the fourth round.