Believe It or Not, Reggie McKenzie Has the Raiders on the Right Track

When Reggie McKenzie took over as general manager of the Oakland Raiders in January of 2012, he inherited one hot mess of a roster, a team overflowing with bloated contracts and blown draft choices.

Since then, McKenzie has taken a chainsaw to the team, and while the improvements he's made may not appear to even be improvements at first glance, that doesn't change the fact that he has the Raiders very much headed in the right direction where the franchise's long-term future is concerned.

The biggest problem that McKenzie has faced, of course, is the steaming pile of‚ um, talent that was the Oakland Raiders' 53-man roster when he took the reins.

Over the last several years of Al Davis' life, the Oakland roster was managed with Millen-esque ineptitude. Huge contracts were handed out like candy to players who didn't merit them.

The Raiders became a running joke where the NFL draft was concerned. Pundits and fans stifled giggles as they waited to see which head-scratching pick Davis would make each season.

Take a look at the Raiders' last five first-round picks under Davis.





Rolando McClain

Expected to be Released


Darrius Heyward-Bey

Released in 2013


Darren McFadden

Remains with Raiders


JaMarcus Russell

Released in 2010


Michael Huff

Released in 2013

Now factor in that in the last two NFL drafts the Raiders haven't even had a first-round pick thanks to disastrous trades that brought defensive lineman Richard Seymour and quarterback Carson Palmer to Oakland.

Neither of those players is still on the Raiders' roster either.

Even players such as Huff, linebacker Philip Wheeler and tight end Brandon Myers...

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