Oakland Looking To the Future: Can the Draft Get Team To 8-8?

That, is the $64 question.

The Oakland Raiders, currently in the slump of their franchise-lives, are hoping for some form of consistency to emerge this year.

Tom Cable, who the media picked to be dead, is still kicking. JaMarcus Russell, depending on who you ask, is lighter or heavier by about 30 pounds.

Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, and a cast of second- or third-year players are all hoping that this year's draft will bring the last missing pieces to assemble a squad that can challenge for the AFC West.

How far does the team have to go?

First things first, it all runs around the quarterback. JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Frye, and now Kyle Boller: All are mentioned from time to time. Bruce recently made news by tearing a pectoral muscle in practice, prompting the team to pick up Kyle. If anything, it is a security blanket, and at worst, he should perform better than Frye did at the end of 2009.

If the Raiders elect to draft another QB, the writing is on the wall for Russell. If the team has to choose between Russell and a rookie QB who is lighting it up on the field, Russell could be traded for a package of Slim Jims.

For the quarterback position to thrive, though, the team needs an offensive line rework. One simple case of a fix was losing Cornell Green to free agency. Green's problem on the line were obvious for the last two seasons. The Raiders could possibly improve on this problem with a replacement of Cooper Carlisle. Robert Gallery, depending on how he bounces back from his injury will be telling. But the line needs to do two major things: Keep the quarterback safe and upright, or open holes for the running backs to do their damage.

The wide receivers have their lessons to learn, but with everything in the team, all factors must be considered. Sure, the passing game was hectic. Passes were dropped, or if the receiver falls down, the pass can be...

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