Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/9/13
With what can only be described as phenomenal and mind boggling, the Oakland Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002, where they finished the season 11-5, in the last five years alone, the Silver & Black have an abysmal record of 24 wins and 72 debilitating loses. Is this finally the year that the Raiders put all of the pieces together and pull themselves up form the depths of the NFL as a whole?Upon further review of the 2013 draft, all drama aside, the Raiders made solid picks that will ensure a great and promising future for the team. Turning heads by trading away the third pick of the first round to the Dolphins, doesn't seem that bad when looking at the players that were acquired.With a plethora of talent being brought on board to strengthen the anemic defense that has been put onto the field year in and year out for the Raiders, the team should see an immediate impact and a change in defensive numbers (takeaways, scores, etc). Adding Consensus First Team All-American and road warrior (if you haven't read about his life changing story, then you most certainly should) D.J Hayden from The University of Houston will aid in patching up the secondary that was lost and confused during most of last season.  The Raiders front office certainly did their homework this year, as they got great steal picks in wideout Brice Butler, tight end Nick Kasa and a great future prospect in quarterback Tyler Wilson. There are already talks of Matt Flynn having competition for the starting position under center already. If you recall, Flynn was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for two draft picks; a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft and a conditional pick in 2015. With such an abundance of change and new faces in the Raiders locker room, this season will most certainly be unlike any other in recent history. With Dennis Allen entering his second year, he will better be able to mold and shape this young team into a force to be reckoned with in the AFC West.Keeping a healthy line up, especially those that have come with such high praise, as well as price tags, will be priority number one. A healthy quarterback, whoever that ends up becoming, as well as a healthy Darren McFadden in the backfield, will see this team transform and turn a few heads in the process.Only time will tell, with mini-camps, OTA's and voluntary workouts already in full swing, everyone donning a silver and black jersey this year, knows what is on the line. The bottom line is, the Raiders have something to prove, not only to the rest of the league, its fans and owners, but mostly to themselves. This is a make or break season for everyone in the Raider Nation.
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