Over at SB Nation headquarters, resident NFL savant Joel Thorman has been taking a closer look at the NFL offseason, breaking it down team-by-team. He recently took a microscope to the Oakland Raiders, discussing some of the problems as well as their upside heading into the 2012 season.
Last Season: 8-8. Didn't make playoffs.
The Raiders free agency was more about who they lost than who they gained. Among the players exiting Oakland are Kamerion Wimbley, Kevin Boss, Michael Bush, Stanford Routt and Jason Campbell.
The best addition might end up being offensive guard Mike Brisiel, who arrived from Houston with a five-year contract. He'll be a starter and replaces Cooper Carlisle on the offensive line.
2012 NFL Draft:
Utah offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom (95th overall), San Diego State LB Miles Burris, Penn State DE Jack Crawford, Arizona WR Juron Criner, Georgia State DE Christo Bilukidi and Penn State OLB Nathan Stupar.
They Make the Playoffs If...
Darren McFadden and the running game can be one of the best in the league once again. Carson Palmer is a key as well, but it's Oakland's running game that will determine its success. A solid season on the ground for the Raiders offense will only help Palmer and the passing game, especially with some of the Raiders deep threats at receiver. The secondary also needs to demonstrate that it has the ability to slow down two key quarterbacks in the division in Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.
You can check out Mr. Thorman's full analysis of the Raiders here.
For more Raiders talk, head to Silver and Black Pride.