With the hopes of a playoff birth a thing of the past, we look forward into the 2010 NFL draft. Hoping that that can learn from their mistakes, here are the Do's/Don'ts for the Oakland Raiders draft in 2010:
DO take a lineman in the first round. This has to happen. To get better on either side of the ball the Raiders have to address the holes on both lines.
How about upgrading that O-line to get some more production out of that huge investment they made at running back in Darren McFadden? When he was drafted to the Raiders many an analyst were dropping comparisons to Adrian Peterson. The only difference is that Peterson had some of the best O-linemen in the league to run behind. He made his splash early. Perhaps McFadden could make a resurgence if he had a proper line in front of him.
On the opposite side of the ball, DO draft a true nose guard to make this line legit. If Gerard Warren's spot was filled with a truly talented (and large) player, this would allow Kelley/Seymour/Ellis/Shaughnessy to be moved around the line where needed.
If the Raiders can knock these two issues out in the first round, they should be in good shape. They have proven that they can find talent in the deeper rounds of the draft. Lets hope this year isn't any different in that respect!
Do not draft a quarterback in the 1st/2nd round. I have seen a few people talking about this possibility and I strongly disagree. Though Gradkowski is probably not the long term answer and seeing that the Raiders turned Russel into the most overpaid back up ever, it would be bad news to draft a QB that early. Stick with Bruce for now until Russel is off the team.
Do not draft a wide-out early. With Walker riding the pine, and Heyward-bey getting paid to not catch balls, the Raiders have to deal with these two misfortunes. I am not saying that Bey cannot turn his career around, but the cap room they are taking up is very hefty (assuming the CAP is even around next year).
Do not draft a safety. Branch and Huff have been making a nice tandem as of late. If they can keep Huff around, it would be interesting what these two could do together in the future. Keep in mind, "draft stretch" Mike Mitchell is still there if needed. Hopefully when he is called upon he will prove his worth.
Naturally a lot of things could happen between now and the draft, and hopefully we see some results similar to this in 2010.
If the Raiders do not find this advice sound, I say they continue with their old drafting routine. Order players from fastest to slowest 40 time. Choose fastest player available. Repeat for 6 more rounds.