All fans are closet general managers. We all have a plan in our minds that if followed will make our team successful.
As a Raider fan, I think there is not one magical plan, but several possible scenarios in which the team can make drastic improvement. Let's examine them from an if this, then that perspective.
The Raiders aggressively pursue offensive linemen in free agency. They throw big money at Donald Penn, Logan Mankins, Willie Colon, Jahri Evans, Chris Chester, and Alex Barron, managing to land at least two of these players.
In this scenario there is now no need to draft an offensive lineman in the first two rounds, allowing the Raiders to concentrate on the defensive side of the ball.
Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody could be available with the eighth and 40th picks and would upgrade the defense tremendously.
This plan could also allow Al Davis to indulge in an athletic pass rusher, such as Jason Pierre-Paul or a cornerback such as Joe Haden.
With all the "can't miss" offensive linemen available in the draft the Raiders concentrate on defense in free agency.
They target players such as Ryan Pickett, Casey Hampton, Aubrayo Franklin, Leigh Bodden, Dunta Robinson, and Carlos Rogers. They manage to land one defensive tackle and a cornerback.
Now the draft focus in on the offensive line. The Raiders go with Bruce Campbell and Vladimir Ducasse for immediate improvement in the trenches.
This is the plan that allows Al Davis to be Al Davis.
In an uncapped year the Raiders bring in a host of free agents on both sides of the ball regardless of promised penalty.
In this scenario Al will feel like he is free to draft the best available athlete regardless of position.
If Joe Haden is available he's the pick. If not, then Jason-Pierre Paul, Taylor Mays, Dez Bryant, or any other player who has a monster combine workout could be the pick.
Any one of these plans make the Raiders a better team. The whole key to this thing is to have a plan in the first place.
Knowing the direction you are trying to go makes it easier to get to your destination. I prefer Plan A, but will be happy to see the team make improvements according to whatever plan they feel is best.
I would also like to see David Carr brought in to compete for the quarterback position in case Russell hasn't made the necessary improvements and a sure handed slot receiver like Kevin Walter should be brought into the fold.
I'd love to see the Raiders get back to being the greatest franchise in the NFL.
This may be the most important offseason in Raider history. San Diego's window is closing. Denver is a mess. The Chiefs are heading in the right direction, but are still a long way away. If the Raiders have the right plan the division is theirs for the taking.
If this, then that.