Playing in the shadows of long-time owner Al Davis' death last October, it had looked like the Raiders were on their way to clinching the AFC West crown with an impressive 7-4 record. Then things came crashing down and the team went 1-4 in the last five games. Head coach Hugh Jackson was fired. And the team had not only Al Davis' shoes to fill, but also had to fill a new coaching staff. Newly-appointed GM Reggie McKenzie hired former Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as the new head coach. Allen is also currently the youngest head coach in the league at 39. Greg Knapp was hired on as new offensive coordinator and Jason Tarver took over as defensive coordinator after Chuck Bresnahan lasted just one year.
Unfortunately for Raider fans, there isn't much to look forward to regarding this year's draft. Below is a brief summary of where this year's picks went, per Wikipedia:
Round One: Oakland ? Cincinnati. Oakland traded this selection and a conditional 2013 second-round selection (that could increase to a first-rounder if Oakland makes it to the 2012-13 AFC Championship game) to Cincinnati for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Round Two: Oakland ? New England. Oakland traded this selection and a 2011 seventh-round selection (No. 219, New England selected Malcolm Williams) to New England for New England's third- and fourth-round selections in 2011 (Nos. 92 and 125, Oakland selected Joseph Barksdale and Taiwan Jones, respectively).
Round Four: Oakland ? Washington. Oakland traded this selection to Washington for quarterback Jason Campbell.
Round Seven: Oakland ? Seattle. Oakland traded this selection and a conditional mid-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft to Seattle for linebacker Aaron Curry.
And aside from all those picks, the Raiders also gave up their third rounder in last year's supplemental draft for quarterback Terrell Pryor. The offense needs some help with question marks at the receiver position and the chances that Michael Bush signs for big bucks on the free agent market. And with the defense getting a makeover, the team has some holes to fill without many picks to fill them. With only two picks in the entire draft, it's anyone's guess as to whom they will look at.
5th Round (5.13): Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama
With the implementation of a new 3-4 scheme, the Raiders will be on the lookout for a big nose tackle. Oakland could go the free agency route, but Chapman is a big body that can take up space at 6'1/310 pounds. Chapman helped the Crimson Tide lead the nation in rushing yards allowed with just 74.9 yards per game and 191.3 yards of total offense allowed per game in 2011.
6th Round: (6.19): Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Despite his stats sliding down the stretch in 2011, Michael Bush stands a good chance at getting a starting gig somewhere else in free agency once it begins. With Darren McFadden somewhat brittle, the team will not only bring in someone as a backup, but also someone who can give DMC a breather. Pierce was a three-time First-Team All-MAC selection, rushing for 1,481 yards and a school-record 27 touchdowns last season.