Las Vegas

What A Rebuild Looks Like For The Raiders

With the Las Vegas Raiders coming off of a blowout loss and on the brink of wasting yet another good start to the season, there’s naturally a lot of talk about what the next steps for this seemingly doomed franchise should be.

Some of that talk revolves around the idea of a rebuild. This team has shown some positives but has also been mired in mediocrity and has failed to find their way out of that trend, so a rebuild might be called for.

What would a rebuild look like?

While Rich Bisaccia stepped into a difficult situation and, by all accounts, is supported by the players, he clearly is not the right man to be the head coach next season and beyond. He’s shown a clear deficit in his ability to manage late-game situations and is far too conservative when it comes to going for it on fourth down. And despite the difficulties, you want a head coach who will get the team to play outside of themselves. But under Bisaccia, the Raiders seem to be getting worse.

So, what about the general manager? We all know about the missed first-round picks, but we also know about some mid-to-late-round steals. What we don’t know is just how much of a say Mike Mayock had on any of those picks. Jon Gruden was the final decision maker on all roster moves, but just how much did he rely on Mayock’s advice?

The Final Say

The good news is that the person in charge of making the call, Mark Davis, should be able to find out if he doesn’t already know. I don’t believe anyone who isn’t in the organization has enough information to know what they should do with Mayock. However, those in the organization do, which should inform the decision.

If Davis doesn’t know or can’t find out how much say Mayock had in the process, perhaps we should be talking about a more expansive rebuild, starting at the top. But that’s a conversation for another day.

The decision regarding the general manager position is a straightforward one. If it turns out Mayock was in favor of good picks and argued against the bad ones, you keep him on. But if he was influential in the missed first-round picks, you would have to look for an upgrade. The mid and late-round finds are great, but they don’t make up for the horrible results in the first round.

It used to be that a team would hire a general manager to hire a head coach, but more and more, you see teams hiring a tandem at the same time. Often, with the coach weighing in on who should be the general manager, this could be troublesome. You don’t want a coach to choose the general manager the way that Jon Gruden did. However, I do think you want an approach that is holistic and that involves hiring both simultaneously, with the idea being that they were hired to work together.

The Raiders Need A Modern Approach

And I think that starts with finding a head coaching prospect who is capable of adjusting and moving with the trends of the league. A retread who is a stubborn devotee to playing football a certain way is a terrible idea. The NFL has trends that can change from season to season or even within one season. The Raiders need a forward-thinking head coach who can pivot to stay up with those trends.

One name that excites me as head coach is Byron Leftwich. He’s young, has had a great mentor in Bruce Arians, and is a guy who should be able to work with the quarterback position, which is pivotal. But there are lots of names that would be worthy of excitement.

If the Raiders move on from Mayock, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is a name I would love to see them look at. He’s a young, up-and-coming name in the front office of the Cleveland Browns. They are a front office that has shown they are willing to think outside of the box. But again, there are lots of good names out there. The Raiders need to find someone who will be on the same wavelength as the new head coach.

What About The Roster?

This is the painful part because going into a rebuild means breaking down what you currently have. Be that as it may, the roster does have some young and promising players, so let’s start with the guys who need to stay and be building blocks for the rebuild.

Maxx Crosby, Kolton Miller, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, A.J. Cole, Daniel Carlson, and the 2021 draft class because it’s just too early to tell with any of them. But besides those guys, everyone else should be considered movable. That doesn’t mean they need to get rid of the rest of the players, but outside of these guys, they should be willing and open to the idea of moving on from anyone and everyone else.

But there are players that they should get rid of, not because they’re bad, but because a rebuild is partially about getting draft capital to conduct a rebuild with.

The two biggest names in this category? Derek Carr and Darren Waller. Those are two names that will be tough for fans to see go. However, they’re also the two most valuable pieces in terms of trade value. Plus, they’re guys who are a bit older and don’t come cheap, neither of which is what you’re looking for in a rebuild.

And if they can get good value for anyone else not listed above, the Raiders should do that as well.

The Rebuild

Once the break down has been completed, the Raiders can focus on the rebuild. Luckily that should all happen in one season. This isn’t like when Reggie McKenzie took over and the tear down took multiple years because of how bad the cap situation was. This time around, the Raiders will be looking at good cap space this offseason and great cap space the following year.

So, after collecting some draft picks and clearing some cap space, the Raiders can start rebuilding in free agency in 2022. The first thing they need to do? Fix the offensive line. Even great quarterbacks struggle without a solid offensive line, and what the Raiders currently have isn’t anywhere near solid. The most important part of a rebuild is the quarterback position, and a good offensive line is one of the biggest keys to finding success for a young quarterback.

Because that’s what the Raiders need to be looking at for the quarterback position. While names like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson may be exciting, they’re also older and expensive, and the Raiders won’t conduct a successful rebuild by trying to take a shortcut at quarterback after tearing down the roster. The Raiders should go full Washington Football Team next April. Remember when they drafted Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins and spent two picks on a quarterback? One early, high pick and one mid-round pick.

Quarterback is far too important…

Putting all of your hopes on one player is far too risky, and draft success is far too dependent on luck to put all of your hopes on one player. They need to draft a few guys in addition to bringing in a veteran backup who is capable of helping teach them. If neither is ready to start in year one, you let the veteran take a beating for a year before giving one of them a go as a starter. It’s a rebuild. You have to be willing to endure at least one year of poor play, but ideally not much more than that.

And what about the rest of the draft picks? Because, as previously stated, the Raiders ideally obtained some additional picks during the tear down. So, other than the quarterback, who do the Raiders target?


That’s it.

A difference maker can be anyone in any position. Just go get some guys who are capable of making an impact. Linebacker, defensive line, cornerback, or wide receiver, you just have to get elite young talent. That is what the team needs more than anything else. Young talent on cheap deals who you can build around. There isn’t nearly enough of that on the Raiders’ roster, and you’re going to be hard pressed to build a winner without it.
Sounds simple, right? Obviously it’s not, but with every rebuild, there is hope because, as I noted above, the draft is a lot about luck and the Raiders have got to be due for some good luck in the draft. Right?

[pickup_prop id=”16930″]

*Top Photo: Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Join The Ramble Email List

1 thought on “What A Rebuild Looks Like For The Raiders”

  1. Who wrote this article oh a 5th grade special ed student ! . “What the Raiders nead is Elite Young Talent on Cheap Deals” . bwahahaha ! . No kidding dummy ! . Every GM in the league is looking for “elite young talent on cheap deals” ! . What you need is to stay away from the bong !

Share your thoughts here, Raider Nation...

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 4,657 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: