Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Jared Veldheer (68) during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Best Players Drafted Since 2000

I think it goes without saying that the Oakland Raiders have not drafted well in the last decade. In Fact, since the early 90′s the Raiders have dropped the ball on more often than not. The last decade has been particularly miserable for Raider fans, and the failure to draft well has been at the root of the problem.

For a franchise that hasn’t won the Super Bowl in over 30 years, it is paramount that the next few years are full of draft success. It is always easier to focus on the misery, but it is important to be aware of the little success that has come. Lets take a look at the last 10 drafts (not including 2013) and figure out the five best players:

5. Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn St, Round 2, 2011

Wisniewski or “Wiz” is a versatile interior offensive lineman. His ability to lineup at guard or center makes him very valuable to the Linemen group. Wiz had family ties to the Raiders as his uncle also lined up at guard for the Silver and Black. Wiz has played an integral part to the Raider offensive line and has started since day one.

4. Lamar Houston, DE, Texas, Round 2, 2010

The talented End, who could also line up in the interior of the line, was lost in Free Agency this off-season to the Chicago Bears. Houston’s body of work didn’t always show up in stat sheets, but his contribution to the defense against the run will be missed. His tenacity and motor was exemplary. He would have been an integral part to the rebuild.

3. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas, Round 1, 2008

McFadden is, undoubtedly, the most electric player to don Silver and Black in a long time, but injuries took away from what could have been a Hall Of Fame career. McFadden is not necessarily a draft bust, but more of an unlucky and unfortunate star. It’s difficult to look past his injuries and we’re left wondering what could have been.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, California, Round 1, 2003

If not for the fact that teams always attacked other weaknesses on the Raiders’ defense, Nnamdi would have been a bigger star. His speed, man making, and intelligence allowed him to dominate opposing receivers for several years. Drafted after the last Super Bowl appearance, Nnamdi never played on a good team and his career was left unfulfilled.

1. Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale, Round 3, 2010

Veldheer, in my opinion, is a Top 5 left tackle in the league. His size, arms, feet, and intelligence have allowed him to shut the very best pass rushers in the league. At 6’8, Veldheer should stifle against shorter and faster rushers, but his natural bend allows him to play lower with more leverage. Losing Veldheer was a setback to rebuilding the franchise, but no player is irreplaceable. This draft has two really good tackles at the top of the draft who could fill in nicely for the now departed Veldheer.

The lack of game changers and play makers in the list explain why the Raiders have been so poor in the last decade. The plan is to draft better from this point forward and it starts with the 2014 NFL Draft.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: NFL Oakland Raiders

  • Josh Carley

    Matt shaunessy and zack miller and tyvon branch better than the five u got.

  • The Nation 4

    How did Jamarcus Russell not make this list???

    • Jordan Brucey Wilson

      TOP five picks not worst picks. He was not a good pick

  • Kenny Oliver

    LOL @ Veldheer being the top pick. Asomugha was considered as the best CB in the league when he was with Oakland. Veldheer still hasn’t proven anything, he looked like he was going to be good then was injured all season.

  • Gregg Brennan

    McFadden is on this list and not Tyvon Branch? Veldheer number one over Nnamdi? Nnamdi was an all-pro corner, Veldheer is an average left tackle, which sadly may qualify him to be on this list, but not over Nnamdi. And what about Zach Miller? Or even Brandon Myers?

  • Chris Schroeder

    Yes Alvin, I agree with these other posters. Nnamdi was considered one of the best corners. if not the best corner in the game for years until he left. Zach Miller was also a huge blow to the rib cage when he left for Seattle. And Tyvon Branch. The Raiders franchise tagged him remember. How come he’s not on the list? We were all asking for Darren McFadden to be dealt in free agency and for the Raiders to keep the Jennings who only had one season with us. That’s how us Raider fans feel about Mcfragile lately.

    In order to be considered a great draft pick you have to be healthy enough to prove your worth year in and year out. That is not McFadden. I really hope he does well for us this year with Maurice Jones Drew, but then again I say that every year and it never happens.

  • CRUZdaddy

    Waste of an article! Specially with the draft still going on..Smh at this “guy’

  • Dan Huttner

    DMC ha had one great year. His injury history alone should disqualify him from this list.

  • Bob

    Just shows how poorly the Raiders have drafted the past ten years.

  • Mark from Section 122

    I know is is a little over 10 years ( year 2000), but the article should have gone back 15 years just so Sebastian Janikowski could get a mention.

    • jerseyrock21

      drafting a kicker in round 1 is not something to be proud of, even if it was the Polish Rifle

      • AF AF AF

        And why is it not a good thing?? We had a void and we filled it with a guy that has done wonders for us! Ray Guy did it for us before and now Sebastian !

  • Raider Grant

    It hilarious that people think 2013 draft shouldn’t matter, but it was suppose to be the draft that pointed us in the right direction & made Raider Nation happy like this year’s draft. 2013 draft was miserable, but appears McKenzie learned from his mistakes. Hopefully going forward The Raiders will have consistent solid drafts. No Nnamdi???? Go Raiders

  • Kevin Hubley

    Not a good list at all.valdeer was good but he’s gone and he didn’t help the running game much and where is miles Burris on this list. Yes been solid as well as sio Moore rod streaker and denarious Moore.

    • Guest

      Shut up.

      Miles Burris is a scrub and a backup, and Rod “Streater” was an undrafted free agent. Obvi, you don’t know what you’re talking about, so… shut up.

  • jerseyrock21

    this list is the main reason we’ve sucked for the last 13 yrs-consistent misses at the top of the draft