Oakland Raiders: Is This Finally the Year?

Andre De OcampoCorrespondent IMay 9, 2009

For the past six years, the Oakland Raiders have been plagued by losing seasons. Could this finally be the year the commitment to excellence returns?

Darrius Heyward-Bey is currently working out at Raiders mini-camp against arguably the NFL's best corner, Nnamdi Asomugha. Though his first in route was a dead give away, with his large eyes showing Asomugha exactly where he was going, Nnamdi appeared optimistic to the young wide out.

The biggest concern for Heyward-Bey being taken No. 7 in the 2009 NFL Draft was his inconsistency with his hands, though at mini-camp the word consistent came more to mind.

Oakland also made a big leap Friday (May 8th 2009) by signing four time pro-bowler, FB Lorenzo Neal. He has paved the way for many 1000 yard rushers, including Jamal Lewis, and Ladanian Tomlinson. To match the new offensive weapons, the Raiders have also gone out looking for the big hitters on defense, Taking Michael Mitchell SS out of Ohio, and signing LB Franz Joseph as an undrafted free agent.

Though many will criticize Al Davis for selecting a sixth or seventh round prospect in the second round, Mitchell was on many draft boards and most likely would have been drafted by another team sooner than later. As Cable and Davis begin to fill some holes on Offense and Defense, this appears to be the first time in six years that the Oakland Raiders have made a valiant effort to make a run at the playoffs.