Raiders Lack Real Starpower
by, 12-02-2013 at 05:24 PM (4005 Views)
As we ponder yet another blown lead resulting in a loss, some Raider Nation members are scratching their heads while others are throwing out blame on the GM, coaches and even some of the players. These elements may be factors, but the fact remains that the Raiders lack a lot of star power and depth at every position. Raw numbers are very hard to look at and evaluate. They can also be misleading. That is a fact and what round a player is drafted doesnít always dictate how big of a star they will be (Tom Brady). What players are available when your team is on the clock in the second round and beyond does indicate what the teams who have drafted ahead of you think of them overall. Remember, there are 31 other teams evaluating every possible aspect of these potential draftees as well as their team needs. That said, when a player goes undrafted, it pretty much says that none of the 32 teams consider them worthy drafting and the expectation of them making the team is relatively low. Keep that in mind as you look at the numbers below.
Here is the Raiders current active roster numbers by draft round and age. It does not include the practice squad and those on IR:
First Round: 4 players including Janikowski -35, and Woodson 37.
Second Round: 7 players, including 3 whom are in their 30ís
Third Round: 4 players all under 30.
Fourth Round: 6 players all under 30.
Fifth Round: 3 players including Tony Pashos who is 33.
Sixth Round: 4 players all under 30 including 3 rookies.
Seventh Round: 4 players all under 30.
Supplemental Draft: 1 player taken in the 3rd round; Terrell Pryor
Undrafted: 20 players, including 8 who are rookies and second year players.
These numbers are very raw, but when you look at them, they do support the lack of star power theory and they tell a story that matches what is happening to this team. Our first round pick in 2012, Hayden is not included on the list because he is on IR, but it to worthy to mention that while he was active, he had no worse of a time than most rookie CBs taken in the first round. Age is also a small factor. As players age, they do become more prone to injury, however they gain experience. This is a relatively young team with only 10 of the 53 active players over 30.
If you break things down further, you will see more indicators that we lack star power. Of our 2 first round draft picks under the age of 30, one is Darren McFadden who has not lived up to his billing. The other is Mike Jenkins who was released by the Cowboys for pretty much the same reason. The former 4th rounders have been a bit disappointing. Branch has been injured for the last 10 games. Burris missed a big chunk of the season. Checkwa has been under the radar. We all know about Jacoby Ford. Taiwan Jones had some disappointments early on, but has emerged as a Special Teams star. All of the 6th round picks are rookies, including both TEs. I like what I have seen from Rivera and McGee though and Rashad Jennings looks like he could have gone higher than the 7th round.
This brings us to the UDFAs. There are 20, nearly half of the active roster! Out of those, half were signed by the current regime. There are a few gems in the ranks of the UDFAs across the league, but when you have as many as we do with a lot of them as starters, something is amiss on your roster and that is star power. We have a few gems in Jon Condo, Marquette King, Matt McGloin to an extent, Marcel Reece, Nick Roach and Rod Streater.
For those who think that the house cleaning done by Reggie McKenzie is the reason why this team is where it is, consider that other than Woodson, Jano and Houston NONE of the first or second round picks by Al Davis are left on the roster. Most of them were busts. We didnít have any picks in the first 3 rounds last year other than a supplemental pick because Hue Jackson gave most of them away for Carson Palmer.
While we are at it, consider some of the players let go by various means since Reggie took over. Some are: Stanford Routt, Kevin Boss, Kamerion Wimbley, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Aaron Curry, Darius Heyward-Bey, Michael Huff, David Tollefson, Tommy Kelly, Carson Palmer, Rolando McClain, Shane Lechler and Richard Seymour. How many have gone on to their new teams and made a real impact? Only 2 come to my mind; Palmer and Lechler. None of the other more noteworthy ones are doing anything with their new teams. Huff is on his second team since we released him and has not taken the field with them yet. Wimbley is very lack-luster in Tennessee as is DHB in Indy. Seymour is still a free agent, presumably out of football. Routt, McClain and Curry are out of football. There are more, but these are the ones who come to mind that had high expectations with this team. Which ones were actually producing for us?
When you consider where the salary cap and roster were when Reggie and company got here versus how we were performing and where we are now, it sure looks like a lack of star power to me. It also looks like something that has been going on for quite some time. I ask people to consider what I have said here before throwing blame out to the GM and coaching staff. Indeed, there are questions that they have to answer but they havenít been given any real talent to work with and as such have not shown that they are NOT the future of the Raiders. 2014 starts the clock on these guys as far as Iím concerned.