Oakland Raiders and the 2012 Draft: Is Al Davis Still Steering the Ship?
For all purposes, Al Davis did actually pass away.
However, his shadow and game plan are more than alive in the actions that the Raiders performed before the trading deadline for the 2011 season.
Hue Jackson—facing at least six weeks without Jason Campbell after an injury—elected, with Mark Davis's help, to pick up a quarterback that was considered untouchable for most of the offseason, the lockout and through several weeks of regular season football.
Carson Palmer, welcome to the Oakland Raiders. Raider Nation, welcome the latest player to wear the No. 3, previously worn by the likes of Daryle Lamonica and Jeff George.
To obtain this player, the Raiders have effectively signed off their 2012 first-round pick, and should the Raiders make the playoffs and win a game, their 2013 first-round pick as well.
For the team, the players that they get as compensation for the loss of Asomugha, Miller and Gallery will be helpful, but nowhere in the upper part of the draft.
One website made the joke that the Raiders might as well go fishing in the 2012 draft, given that the team is missing so many pieces. However, anyone with knowledge of the Raiders knows that Al does have a penchant for trading off draft picks as the need presents itself.
How many fans remember Al's actions to get Steve Wisniewski during the 1989 Draft? By the time the Raiders were done, the team would only have five picks for the entire draft, starting back in the sixth round and going out to the tenth round.
Should the Raiders have run with Kyle Boller until Jason came back?
Likewise, other years when the Raiders would pick with 11 spots, as in 1990, sometimes you might see some promise, like Aaron Wallace. Other times, you hit the wall with guys like Major Harris, who would never wear the Silver and Black.
To that end, could the Raiders have drafted a QB like Carson Palmer, with either draft pick in the next two years?
What about the current crop of quarterbacks the Raiders already have, like Kyle Boller, Jason Campbell and Terrelle Pryor?
For the Raiders, it was questionable whether Campbell would still be in the mix once the season was over. When the Raiders had taken Pryor earlier in the supplemental draft, it was assumed that Campbell, if anything, would be on borrowed time.
If Campbell does not return to the team before the end of the season, it would be a sad ending to the QB who helped relight the fire of this team.
For Boller, one has to wonder what he makes of the new pickup to the team.
Did Hue Jackson trust him at all in backing up the team, or did he just feel too strongly that Palmer would be able to fill in that gap?
Boller, to that end, is his own worst enemy due to his history of injury dating back to Baltimore.
This leaves the Raiders, once this season is over, two quarterbacks to carry the Raiders forward, unless the Raiders choose to keep either one as a carry-over next season. The first is Palmer, who will be under contract until 2014. The second is Pryor, who will be with the team for four years.
If Al Davis is watching, one only has to wonder if Al Davis traded one too many times—and just shoved Jim Plunkett out the door for a flashy replacement.
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