‘Raiders Black Hole’
Everybody seems to be a Raiders fan.
For all the bad years they had, they were (92-181) in their final decade in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas, their most recent history is awful, and you really wonder about the future.
They play in the shiny new Allegiant Stadium in front of sellouts.
Home games are like a Mardis Gras, with fans from everywhere showing up wearing the colors, paint, tattoo ink.
They have a tremendous leader in QB Derek Carr, who has continued to produce despite a chronic deficient offensive line, upheaval at wide receiver, not much of a running game and a substandard defense.
Everyone amped to see what Carr can create with newcomer Davante Adams and incumbents Derek Waller and Hunter Renfrow.
Now there’s a new coach, Josh McDaniels, architect of great seasons with Tom Brady in New England. But his resume includes a bad failure in Denver.
But the bigger story in Las Vegas, is what is recent history under the last shiny object Mark Davis hired, since fired head coach Jon Gruden left behind..
Disgraced by his Emails to other NFL execs that contained controversial statements about race, women and NFL leadership, the Raiders revisited the stained Gruden era as roster cutdown day came and went.
It may be in the rear-view mirror, all these failed drafts, but the bill comes due when all these young picks were due to become starters, and they are all gone. It is stunning to look at Gruden’s drafts.
2021….Shocking they gave up so quickly on OT-Alex Leatherwood, who failed on the edge, then struggled when they moved him inside to guard. How bad was he? They are willing to take an 8M-cap hit to get rid of him. Gruden reached to draft him at 17 in the opening round. What a failure. Also gone is 2nd round pick LB-Trevor Moehring.
2020…Disgraces off the field, meant the Raiders never really got to see how good they could be on the field. Gifted WR-Henry Rugg is facing 20-years in prison for the drunk driving crash that killed a woman last fall. He leaves known for his speed, doing 156mph in a car before the rear-end accident. 2nd round pick Damon Arnett is out of football, with substance issues, an ugly gun incident leading to his ouster weeks after the Rugg wreck. They gave up on 3rd round pick WR-Lynn Bowden before he could get to his first opening day. Another 3rd round pick Bryan Edwards failed to keep his job and was traded. And linebacker Tanner Muse was axed. Might be the biggest failure of any one draft in modern day history.
2019…A marquee draft jinxed by injuries. DE-Cle Ferrell was another Gruden reach, and has not been able to keep a starters job. They’ve traded twice for veterans to replace him. RB-Josh Jacobs came with great college credentials, but nagging injuries have chipped away at what could be good seasons. He’s in the final year of his contract. They need him to be a do-everything back. If not, they are a mess. S-Jon Abram has travelled the same road, so many injuries for such an active hitter. And they just gave up on CB-Trayvon Mullen, traded to Arizona, his track record marred by injuries and inconsistency.Like Jacobs, you see flashes of wow, then he’s hurt. The gem is DE-Maxx Crosby, a 4th rounder who did not fail but became a shooting star. The draft isn’t a washout, but it’s not what was needed or supposed to be.
2018…Kolten Miller, the left tackle is solid, but the early picks after him failed. DT-PJ Hall, OT-Brandon Parker-injuries and DE-Arden Key and DT-Maurice Hurst, here today, gone tomorrow.
Prior leadership before they gave the keys to Gruden and his people, brought the Raiders miserable talents like Gareon Conley…Karl Joseph…DJ Hayden…Roland McClain.
Yes they did draft Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, star players, since traded.
The worst part of this deep background look at the Raiders is this fact. The Raiders will wake up one morning with an aging Derek Carr, and absolutely nothing around him because of all these bad drafts.
Raiders fans, who party-hardy, should enjoy this year. Next year and years ahead may be as bad as the most recent years. The greatness of Gruden never happened in Las Vegas. In fact, they may be worse off now than when he got there.
Silver & Black, looking at years of being Silver & Bleak.