If Derek Carr’s isn’t the Raiders future, what will the Silver and Black build around moving forward?
Well, we know it isn’t Khalil Mack or Amari Cooper. It probably isn’t their offensive line either. Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele were both considered elite at one time but both have been good. Rodney Hudson has been consistent. All three have contracts that could make them expendable. Otherwise, the jury is still out on the two rookie tackles. Both have the tools and flash glimpses but it is unclear if either is physically dominate enough to be elite tackles.
On defense, you could look at Gareon Conley or Karl Joseph. Sike, both dudes struggled staying on the field under Gruden. How about the defensive line? The Raiders invested a pick in the second, third and fifth round last year. P.J. Hall, Arden Key and Mo Hurst all flash glimpses as well. Nonetheless, they all have a long way to go before they look anything close to the Raiders future.
So what is the future of the Raiders?
That’s easy. The future has a few faces including Mark Davis, Las Vegas and of course Jon Gruden. Still, Jon Gruden has and is THE future of the Silver and Black because he holds all the power
As soon as the Raiders gave him a ten-year bag, it was clear J.G. would be the Raiders present in Oakland and future in Vegas.
We knew that when Gruden started making personnel moves that obviously veered away from Reggie McKenzie’s standard operating procedures. We knew it more when Gruden started calling out and trading franchise players like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
Gruden has already made him the center of the Raiders and that will continue. Every week he seemingly makes some quote the media runs away with. Now, he will control the Raiders future draft and free agency signings too.
Whoever Gruden drafts with his first three picks will be apart of the future vision, for sure. However, their success and failure will be framed in Gruden’s legacy. It will be less about their success and more about how Gruden had the vision to find them.
In addition, Gruden’s legacy will ultimately determine Mark Davis’ success as an NFL owner. Davis gave Gruden that bag to help the team get back to a Super Bowl. He needs to field a winning franchise when he moves them to Vegas as he has leveraged hundreds of million in equity to get the team a stadium.
Moreover, Vegas has been spoiled with the success of the Golden Knights with their first NHL team. They are gonna expect similar success or else they’re gonna lose interest. They also used a ton of tourist tax money to build the Raiders a stadium so I’m sure they will want return on that investment. That falls on Gruden as he has the most power and name-recognition on the rosters.
Are you catching a trend?
Whether you’re talking on-field or off-field success, Gruden is the lowest common denominator. He’s the future of the Raiders. Period.