2011 NFL Draft: Pondering What Al Davis’ Raiders Have Planned for the Offseason

As we fans count down towards the 2011 NFL draft, many are wondering which direction their respective teams will be taking this offseason.

For teams like the Patriots and Steelers, it's simple: They'll be building through the draft.

But for our Oakland Raiders, it's much more complicated. Enigmatic owner Al Davis takes a different route than most teams by aggressively setting the market for positions (a la Stanford Routt) and by finding starters in the draft, not developmental guys.

Last offseason, Oakland was an active trade partner and added four starters via trade.

They also drafted three starters, or four, if you include the upstart Jacoby Ford.

However, the Raiders did not sign any free agents that would start. This was news to us, as Al and company normally were very proactive in pursuing free players.

Now it's 2011. With a lockout in effect, I think we could see the Raiders go about their business in a very strange way.

Nnamdi Asomugha is a free agent, but with each day passing, his chances of staying in Oakland steadily increase. That's good for the Raiders because they can focus on positions other than cornerback.

What Mr. Davis will do this offseason is heavily relies on the draft. He'll re-sign any guy he wants to and let the others walk. We could see a starter or two added during free agency, but even that's a long shot.


Well, as I said, with each passing day of a lockout, players will be more inclined to stick with their current teams. This will, in essence, force the Raiders to act as though there will be no free agency at all.

If there isn't free agency, then that means players like Nnamdi Asomugha will be sticking with the Raiders.

If so, this is a very, very important draft, Raider Nation. One mistake could be extremely costly.

Last year, the Raiders focused on defense by drafting six defensive players t...

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