The 2010s was not a very good decade for the Las Vegas Raiders overall. The team had one winning season and five different head coaches, and plenty of had to do with a clear lack of talent.
The new decade sure got off with a bang. Only a quarter of the way in, 2020 is already making a case to be a total bust. While most sites published their 2010 All-Decade teams, there has been as much of a dearth of all-bust teams as children running around public parks.
Many people boast how even the worst NFL team could take on the best college football team. But this Raiders squad might just be the first team with the potential to lose to an NCAA program.
Here is the offense:
Be sure to check back with Raider Ramble for the defensive side of the 2010 All-Bust team soon.
Raiders 2010 All-Bust
Head Coach: Dennis Allen
The Dennis Allen hire was doomed from the start. At that point in time, owner Mark Davis had taken over the organization after Al Davis’ passing, and the Raiders were becoming notorious for being a dumpster fire in the league. No one wanted their head coaching job. In fact, no head coach since Jon Gruden had lasted more than two seasons. Allen made it two and a quarter season before he was shown the boot in an obvious attempt to give the franchise some stability. He left after an 8-28 record with the team.
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Downing
This move may very well have been what destroyed a resurgent Raiders team. After going 12-4, giving the team their only winning season last decade, then head coach Jack Del Rio decided that he would move on from veteran offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave in favor of quarterback coach Todd Downing, who had zero experience in the role. Musgrave probably doesn’t get enough credit for putting together the sixth-best offense in the NFL in 2016. The team got itself a playoff berth despite a terrible defense. Downing came in and helped the Raiders fall all the way to 20th best in the NFL. He and Del Rio were shown the door at the end of the year.
Quarterback: Carson Palmer
Considering what the Raiders gave up, the Carson Palmer trade might be one of the biggest busts of the entire decade for the Silver and Black. After quarterback Jason Campbell broke his collarbone when the team was off to a 4-2 start in 2011, head coach Hue Jackson was desperate for a way to keep the team playoff-bound. He gave away their 2012 first-round pick, and a second-rounder in 2013 for Palmer, who had re-signed to retire while holding out for a new contract.
Palmer wasn’t the answer the team hoped for, though to his credit, wasn’t put in the most ideal situation. After sitting out for the first six games of the year, the signal-caller suited up for Week Seven’s bout against the Browns. He didn’t start, but entered the game after Kyle Boller threw three interceptions. Palmer didn’t fare any better, tossing three interceptions of his own and completing a paltry eight of his 21 passes. The team finished 8-8 and Palmer was traded to the Cardinals a few years later, where he revitalized his career.
Honorable Mention: Matt â€œMcLovin’ McGloin
Running Back: Maurice Jones-Drew
This one hurts. Jones-Drew had been a bruising running back for years with the Jaguars. After spending his first eight seasons in the league in Jacksonville, he had tacked up almost 8,000 yards, including one year where he had 1,606 yards. the UCLA product came to his hometown of Oakland to finish up his career.
Jones-Drew might have already been finished before he came to Oak-Town though. He didn’t even manage to put up 100 total yards in his sole year with the team, averaging just 2.2 yards per carry. His best moment may have been when he invented a new play with then-rookie Derek Carr:
Honorable Mention: Roy Helu Jr.
Wide Receivers: Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson
The final big bust of the decade is without a doubt, the Antonio Brown trade. Brown had been a top-five wide receiver in the NFL for six years and showed no real signs of slowing down. He seemed to be orchestrating his way out of Pittsburgh with loud social media outbursts. Still, when the Raiders gave up only a third and a fifth-round pick for him, it seemed like an absolute steal at the time. Instead, it turned into an absolute nightmare that ended in the outright release of the troubled player before the season even officially began. The silver lining was that the team was at least able to void his huge contract. Nevertheless, those draft picks could come in handy for Mike Mayock.
Darius Hayward-Bey narrowly misses the cut since he was drafted in 2009. Other than that, the Raiders spent most of the 2010’s trying to stick with homegrown talent in the later rounds of drafts with players such as Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, and even the undrafted man, Rod Streeter. Later in the decade, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree would at least the Raiders a few good years. The next biggest bust would probably be Jordy Nelson. He came in expecting to replace Crabtree opposite of Cooper. The former Packers wide-out had been a favorite target quarterback Aaron Rodgers for years. In Oakland, he proved to be just another guy who the team chased in the twilight of their career.
Honorable Mention: Seth Roberts
Tight End: Clive Walford
Initially, the Raiders 2015 draft class looked like it had the potential to round the team out. After Carr and Mack’s rookie season, the team needed to round out some pieces around the two. Cooper was taken in the first, and tight end Clive Walford later in the third. Walford came from the Miami, a college program known for fostering top players at the position in the league such as Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham. Walford never lived up to those names. He never surpassed 360 yards in a season, and his most newsworthy tidbit was that he got into an ATV accident during the offseason of his sophomore season. He was eventually cut after catching just nine passes in his third year. Ever since then, he has since bounced around the league struggling to stay on a roster.
Raiders 2010 All-Bust – O-line
One position where the Raiders have been spoiled at this past decade is center. In fact, the team has only had three different starting centers for most the 2010’s: Samson Satele, Stefan Wisniewski, and the beast, Rodney Hudson. The team hasn’t really drafted any center with high expectations, or signed any big name that didn’t work out at the position.
Tackles: Joe Barksdale and Brandon Parker
Joe Barksdale and Brandon Parker have quite a few things in common. For one, they are obviously both offensive tackles. But, both of them were drafted in the third round by the Raiders as well. And neither of them look like good picks now. In fact, Barksdale, who the Raiders took in the 2011 draft, only made it only made it three games into his second season before getting cut. Now, lucky for him, he improved, most recently starting for the Los Angeles Chargers for a few years. But, not even making it a quarter of the way through your second season with the team officially makes him a Raiders bust.
Some might say it is too early to call Parker a bust. But it isn’t. He’s lucky he outlasted Barksdale’s tenure, making it through his first two seasons. Sure he wasn’t supposed to start at all his rookie year, but he did. And he gave up ten sacks, tied for third-most in the league that season. He saw much less action (luckily) his second year, but he still actually ended up with a worse grade according to pro football focus. Unless he suddenly wakes up, he’ll go down as yet another bust draft pick.
Honorable Mention: Marshall Newhouse
Guards: Tony Bergstrom, Vadal Alexander
Tony Bergstrom may not have been put into position to succeed. Since the team traded away their 2012 first and second-round picks, Bergstrom ended up being the Silver and Black’s first pick, No.95 towards the end of the third. Even though he played tackle in college, the Raiders wanted him as a guard for the team. He wasn’t terrible and looked like he could improve, but then, he didn’t appear in a game for two entire seasons, one because of injury, and the other as a healthy scratch. His best moment was filling in at center for Rodney Hudson for a few games.
Vadal Alexander might be a bit of a stretch since he was a seventh-round pick, but a lot of people thought he could be a steal for the team. At that point, the Raiders loved their linemen to be humongous, and Alexander fit the bill. At 6-foot-five and 325 pounds, he was seen as a project who could sit and develop. He got some action his first few years with some bright and bad moments. All in all, he was suspended for PEDs during the 2018 offseason. From there, he must have decided football wasn’t for him because he didn’t show up for training camp and was waived by the team. Alexander has been out of the league since.
Honorable Mention: J’Marcus Webb
Top Photo: Kevin C.Cox/Getty Images