From the FanPosts -Joel
In case you missed the first in this series of posts about the importance of drafting and the AFC West you can find the post covering the San Diego Chargers here.
Last time we looked at how the draft helped the San Diego Chargers take hold of the division and run away with it via outstanding drafts during the early part of the decade. In contrast, the Oakland Raiders have shown the NFL what horrible drafting can do to your franchise.
For any Oakland fans that happen to wander over to AP, I’m not bashing your team. Just stating the facts. The facts bash them quite well enough.
Just win, err I mean, just blow the draft baby.
Of all the teams in the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders have had the most stability at the GM position from 2001-2010. But stability is only a good thing when the guy that keeps the job year after year knows what he’s doing.
Al Davis ruled his team with an iron fist. His fascination with height, weight and speed was well documented. The only thing Al loved more than a fast, strong guy, was a fast, strong guy that was mean, pissed and cut by another team. Hey, it worked in the 70’s and 80's didn't it. Why change in the face of facts?
There were a lot of things wrong with the Raiders organization in the last decade. The draft just exacerbated the problem.
In 10 years Oakland managed to have 7 coaches. They were, in order: Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson. Just to keep things consistent Oakland has decided to make it 8 over 11 years with the addition of Dennis Allen. Commitment to change is commendable when you are a politician running for office. Hasn't really worked out well for the Raiders though.
From 2000-2002 Oakland caught lightning in a bottle with a number of high profile free agents that helped them reach the Super Bowl. But, as we’ll see with the Chiefs later on in this series, Free Agents can give you a few good years but they cannot sustain consistent winning over a long period of time.
So what did Oakland do in the draft from 2001-2011, and did the record match their skill in the draft.
Once again, to clarify things a bit, I've correlated the team's record from two years after the corresponding draft class. I've also limited the players on the list to those who played in at least 16 games for the team that drafted them. Starter also means 16 starts over their career with the team.
Draft History Legend:
- * = Starter (Must have started 16 games with team to qualify)
- + = Pro Bowler
- # = All Pro
- S = players still with team
Oakland Raider Draft History (2001-2010) / Regular Season Records (2003-2011)
2001 Draft Class / 2003 Record 4-12
2003 4th in AFC West
- Derrick Gibson, DB *
- DeLawrence Grant, DE/LB *
- Chris Cooper, DT/DE
2002 Draft Class / 2004 Record 5-11
2004 4th in AFC West
- Phillip Buchanon, DB *
- Napoleon Harris, LB *
- Langston Walker, OT *
- Doug Jolley, TE *
- Ronald Curry, WR *
2003 Draft Class / 2005 Record 4-12
2005 4th in AFC West
- Nnamdi Asomugha, DB * + #
- Tyler Brayton, DE *
- Teyo Johnson, TE
- Justin Fargas, RB/FB *
- Doug Gabriel, WR
2004 Draft Class / 2006 Record 2-14
2006 4th in AFC West
- Robert Gallery, OT/OG *
- Jake Grove, OG/C *
- Eric Schweigert, DB *
- Courtney Anderson, TE *
2005 Draft Class / 2007 Record 4-12
2007 4th in AFC West
- Fabian Washington, DB *
- Stanford Routt, DB *
- Kirk Morrison, LB *
- Anttaj Hawthorne, DT *
2006 Draft Class / 2008 Record 5-11
2008 3rd in AFC West
- Michael Huff, DB * S
- Thomas Howard, LB *
- Paul McQuistan, OT
- Kevin Boothe, OG
- Chris Morris, C
2007 Draft Class / 2009 Record 5-11
2009 3rd in AFC West
- JaMarcus Russell, QB *
- Zach Miller, TE * +
- Mario Henderson, DT/OT *
- Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR *
- Michael Bush, RB *
- Jay Richardson, DE *
- Oren O’Neal, FB
- Jonathon Holland, WR
2008 Draft Class / 2010 Record 8-8
2010 3rd in AFC West
2009 Draft Class / 2011 Record 8-8
2011 3rd in AFC West
- Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR * S
- Michael Mitchell, DB * S
- Matt Shaughnessy, DE S
- Louis Murphy, WR * S
- Brandon Myers, TE S
2010 Draft Class / 2012 Record ????
Wow, I mean…just wow…
From 2001-2010 Oakland started 36 of their 80 draft picks for at least 16 games during their time with the team. (45%). This was the most drafted starters of any AFC West Team. San Diego was second with 30 starters from 75 draft picks (40%).
Out of 80 draft selections only 2 of them made the Pro Bowl. Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller. Asomugha also was named to the All Pro team in 2008 and 2010.
As with San Diego, the draft absolutely mirrors the record of the team. From 2003-2011 the Raiders have posted a measly 312% winning percentage. That's 45-99. Ugly.
What is even more damning is that of the 80 players drafted and 36 starters, only one player drafted prior to 2008 is still with the team. Michael Huff. San Diego has 9 players still with the team from that period.
36 of the draft picks may have started 16 games or more for the Raiders, but 35 of them were either let go by the numerous regime changes or bolted the first chance they could.
With other teams I would say that the constant shifting of coaches and scheme were to blame. But remember, Oakland only had one dramatic scheme change when Gruden left. (Which may be one of the main reasons why Al ran him out of town. Al, "What the hell is this West Coast thing. It's a fad! Throw deep damnit!!!"). Davis drafted the players, determined the scheme and even called plays from time to time.
In fact, in 2008 Al Davis stripped the offensive coordinater Joe Knapp of his play calling duties and assigned play calling to then interim coach Tom Cable.
Wish Clark would have done something similar last year...but I digress.
Let's continue to pile on shall we?
Player development couldn't have been helped by the constant change in staffs either. With no loyalty to the players, coaches had no problem marginalizing anyone who didn't "buy into" their system.
Players drafted in or before 2007 have had their rookie contracts expire and been able to have at least one year of eligibility with other teams. Oakland had 59 draft picks during this time. Only Micheal Huff is still with the team. But 20 of the other draftees went on to play 16 or more games with other teams, 10 of which started at least 16 games for another team.
That trend continued for the 2008 draft class. Of the five picks from 2008, one player never made the squad, WR Arman Shields. The other 4 picks were all qualified as Raider starters for this post. McFadden, Tyvon Branch, Trevor Scott and Chaz Schilens. In 2012 Scott will be a New England Patriot and Schilens will be a New York Jet.
So not only has Oakland drafted as bad or worse than any team in the NFL from 2001-2010, they also failed to hold onto the NFL caliber players they did draft. 33% of their draft picks from 2001-2007 went on to have NFL careers of 16 games or more with other teams and 16% were named starters for their new teams.
Any wonder Oakland is a hot mess?
What have the 2001-2010 drafts brought the Raiders?
- 80 Total Picks
- 36 Starters
- 2 Pro Bowlers
- 1 All Pro
- 0 AFC West Championships
- Have not finished higher than 3rd in the Division since 2001
- 12 of the 80 draft picks during this time are still with the team
HOLY CRAP MAN!!! I knew it was bad, but not just how bad until I started these posts.
Rest in Peace Al. I can sincerely say that all of Chiefdom is going to miss you at the helm of the Raiders.
We’ll leave the summation of what this means for Oakland in the long run for the final piece in this series, but it can’t be good….
Coming up tomorrow, The Denver Broncos.