Although the late Al Davis has passed away, his stamp on the team lingers. With numerous hand picked players still on the roster, such as Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford, and Tyvon Branch, it is hard to decide their futures with the team, considering current general manager Reggie McKenzie has already released favorites Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey. So with the franchise getting a much needed overhaul, what would Davis do with the current Raiders roster? Sign proven veterans.
Davis has a great track record in finding aging players, in the last stages of their career, from Ronnie Lott to Jerry Rice, Davis has found great value and helped revive their careers. With so much Pro Bowl talent still available, one would think, Davis would target tackle Jake Long (Howie Long’s son), defensive end Dwight Freeney or free-safety Ed Reed. All of those players possess the Raider mentality of being tough, physical, and aggressive, while providing upgrades at each of those positions.
The Raiders can then use their third overall pick and draft Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. I can almost assure you that Davis fell in love with Milliner from above, after his 40-yard dash at the combine (4.37). In addition, Davis loves a workout warrior further validating his draft stock as a Raider. Davis loves the sexy pick, and with the Raiders taking a chance on Charles Woodson back in 1998 (4th overall), Milliner would be no different in 2013.
Another option would be to draft tackle Lance Johnson. Like Milliner, Johnson had a great NFL combine and was talk of the town during his on-field drills. He had the same “buzz” that was swirling around former Raiders tackle Bruce Campbell, a player that was later drafted by Davis back in 2010, in the fourth-round.
With so many holes to fill, you could have expected Davis to make some type of free-agent splash. However, since McKenzie took over, he has done nothing but revamp the roster his way. And whether that is releasing some of Davis’ favorite players, McKenzie is wasting no time, marking his territory, as the Raiders move forward in 2013.