The Oakland Raiders took a step forward in 2010, with their first non-losing season since 2002. They still have a ways to go before they can contend for the Lombardi trophy, but with a solid draft in a few weeks, they could possibly contend for the AFC West title.
However, the lack of a franchise quarterback could hinder their quest for their first winning season since 2002.
Jason Campbell should enter the 2011 season as the starting quarterback for next year, but I’m not sure if he is the long-term solution. The Raiders will most likely miss out on the top quarterbacks due to not having a first-round pick, but they may use a second- or third-rounder to find a quarterback of the future.
The running back position is the strength of this offense, especially after Darren McFadden had a breakout season in 2010. Pair him with power back Michael Bush, and you’ve got a very solid rushing duo.
The receiving group is solid overall, but it really lacks a No. 1 receiver. Louis Murphy would make a solid number two option, and Jacoby Ford provides a good deep threat, but Darrius Heyward-Bey hasn’t come close to proving that he was worth the seventh overall pick.
Zack Miller has been a very solid receiving threat, and I expect him to be back in 2011, despite being a free agent.
The offensive line could use some work, but they may have found the left tackle of the future in Jared Veldheer. Robert Gallery is a solid player, but he is a free agent who may not return for 2011. The rest of the line needs work, but Bruce Campbell may get the opportunity to win a starting guard spot in 2011.
The defensive unit could be the strongest group on this team, with quality starters and solid depth. The defensive end position is solid with Matt Shaughnessy and LaMarr Houston as good young starters.
Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and John Henderson are all quality players at the defensive tackle spot. One of those three won’t be a starter, but they’ll give the Raiders good depth on the interior of the line.
Kamerion Wimbley had a breakout season in 2010, and he will be back next season after being franchised by the Raiders. Quentin Groves is another player who came into his own last season at the other outside linebacker spot.
Rolando McClain was a steady presence who should be a force in the middle for years to come.
Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but he is a free agent and it’s unclear if he will return.
Stanford Routt was a free agent, but he was re-signed, which gives the Raiders at least one solid starter. The depth at corner is a concern, and if they lose Asomugha, they will have a huge hole at the cornerback spot.
The safety spot was average, but it could really be bad in 2011 if Michael Huff isn’t brought back as a free agent.