Oakland Raiders' Blueprint for the Future

Colin MehiganCorrespondent INovember 26, 2008

Sunday's 31-10 victory over the Denver Broncos underlined the potential that exists with the Oakland Raiders.

It has been a tumultuous season for the Raiders, culminating in the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin after a mere four games. But Sunday’s win shows the character that percolates in the team and the instinctive natural ability that permeates in players such as JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden.

That said, the fact remains that the Raiders have been managed pitifully for a long period of time. The dysfunction is highlighted by the Raiders' first round draft selections since 2002 (the AFC Championship season).

A full analysis of all nine players selected by the Raiders since 2002 demonstrates that only one player, Nnamdi Asomugha, has reached a high calibre playing level in the NFL. Nearly half are no longer with the team while it is too early to pass full judgment on the aforementioned Russell and McFadden.

2002—Phillip Buchanon, Napoleon Harris
          Buchanon is now with Tampa Bay. Harris is with Minnesota.
2003—Nnamdi Asomugha, Tyler Brayton
          Asomugha is the one success. Brayton is now with Carolina.
2004—Robert Gallery
           Gallery is getting left tackle money to play at left guard.

2005—Fabian Washington
           Washington is now with Baltimore.

2006—Michael Huff
           Huff was demoted to the bench midway through this season.

2007—JaMarcus Russell
2008—Darren McFadden

The Oakland Raiders need vision and purpose for the future. Organization and planning are desperately required.

Al Davis is a Silver and Black legend. He is the very personification of the Raiders and, in essence, he and he alone made the team into the successful juggernaut of the '60s, '70s, and '80s.

However, the above draft history surely underscores the reality that new talent evaluators are desperately needed.

The Raiders’ glory years coincided with astute front office personnel. Ron Wolf played a significant role in Raider personnel operations from 1966 to 1990, winning three Super Bowls in the process whilst Bruce Allen forged a formidable double act with John Gruden in the late '90s.

There is no doubt that Al Davis needs to concede personnel power to a judiciously minded executive. This is as important as the selection of the new head coach.

If Warren Sapp can come close to winning Dancing with the Stars then anything in life is possible. This absolutely includes the Oakland Raiders competing once again for a Super Bowl.