Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, Nnamdi Asomugha dot Raiders' all-decade team

Derek Carr has had his ups and downs, but his 2016 season -- before the injury -- was enough to make him a Raiders all-decade performer. Marcio Jose Sanchez, File/AP

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The past decade of Oakland Raiders football was anything but dull. There was good (the 2016 season in which the Raiders went 12-4), a lot of bad (seven losing seasons, including a 3-13 campaign and three seasons of 4-12) and some breathtaking ugly (Derek Carr's broken right fibula in the penultimate game of that 2016 breakthrough season, ending dreams of a playoff run).

But mostly, there was change. Change that came with the death of Al Davis on Oct. 8, 2011, and his son Mark Davis taking control of the franchise, despite Hue Jackson's hysterics.

Change with general manager Reggie McKenzie, who won the NFL's Executive of the Year award in 2016 by getting the Raiders out of "salary-cap hell" before a string of bad drafts saw him shown the door two years later.

Change in Jon Gruden being wooed out of the Monday Night Football booth, feted with a 10-year contract worth a reported $100 million and given the keys to Silver and Blackdom to rebuild the Raiders in, well, any image he damn well saw fit.

Change in Mike Mayock leaving his role as an NFL Network draft analyst to become an actual, factual GM with the Raiders and have a stellar first draft class. And yes, change that rocked the franchise to its core -- Davis getting a new stadium and a move to Las Vegas.

No, there wasn't a lot of winning in the 2010s (Oakland's combined record of 63-97 from 2010 through 2019 was one game better than the 62-98 it posted from 2000 through 2009), but there were some standout individual Raiders. As such, here is one man's Raiders all-decade team...


Quarterback: Derek Carr (2014-present)

Sure, he has a career record of just 39-55 (the 55 losses the second most for a QB in his first six seasons, behind brother David's 56 defeats) -- with just one winning season among them. But the most polarizing figure in recent Raiders history is also the franchise's all-time passing leader with 22,793 yards ... for better or worse.

Running back: Darren McFadden (2008-14)

Remember when Run-DMC was healthy, running by defenders and playing at an MVP level in 2011 until a foot injury derailed him? Yeah, when McFadden was right, he was nice. Especially when then-coach Hue Jackson asked him what plays he liked to run.

Fullback: Marcel Reece (2009-15)

The aptly titled "matchup nightmare" was a three-time Pro Bowler for Oakland, catching 52 passes in 2012 and 12 TD passes in his final six seasons with the Raiders.

Receivers: Amari Cooper (2015-18), Michael Crabtree (2015-17)

The "Coop and Crab Connection" made life so much easier for Carr in 2016, combining for 172 catches for 2,156 yards and 13 TDs in that 12-4 season. But something went off track between Carr and the wideouts that might have had something to do with each player's occasional case of the dropsies. As brightly as they burned across the sky, they faded. Crabtree was not brought back by Gruden and Cooper, a two-time Pro Bowler with Oakland, was traded to Dallas for a first-round draft pick at midseason in 2018.

Tight end: Darren Waller (2018-19)

Waller over Jared Cook, who caught a combined 166 passes in his two years in Oakland? Yes, Waller's 2019 was that special. His battle for sobriety is the true inspiration here, but Waller coming out of the abyss -- numerous suspensions -- to catch 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three TDs in 2019 elevated his on-field standing. Waller joined Todd Christensen as the only tight ends in franchise history with 90 catches in a single season, and Waller led all NFL tight ends with 570 yards after the catch.

Offensive line: LT Donald Penn (2014-18), LG Kelechi Osemele (2016-18), C Rodney Hudson (2015-present), RG Gabe Jackson (2014-present), RT Trent Brown (2019-present)

Penn was special as a two-time Pro Bowler (yes, even if it was his missed block that ended with Carr's broken right leg), Osemele was a beast as an All-Pro in 2016 (even if his injuries frustrated Gruden), Hudson might be the most cerebral center in the game (he was a second-team All-Pro selection this season), Jackson is a Pro Bowler in waiting (he made the transformation from road grader at left guard seamlessly) and Brown -- in just 11 games this past season -- was no doubt the Raiders' best right tackle of the decade (you saw his handling of Khalil Mack in London, yes?).


Defensive ends: Khalil Mack (2014-17), Lamarr Houston (2010-13)

Mack, who had 40.5 sacks in Oakland, was a force, the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year who wanted to be paid as such. He might have been rubbed the wrong way by Carr getting the five-year, $125 million extension, as well as draft classmates Jackson and defensive tackle Justin Ellis getting paid before him (receiver Seth Roberts got a new deal, too) and by Marshawn Lynch altering the locker room chemistry. Too bad. Houston also left when he was not paid what he felt he was due after 16.5 sacks in four seasons.

Defensive tackles: Tommy Kelly (2004-12), Richard Seymour (2009-12)

Kelly, who also saw significant time on the edge, was one of the best talkers (and most quotable) on the team ... after the likes of Warren Sapp and Ted Washington left him to his own devices. More than 30 of his 34.5 sacks in Oakland came with him playing primarily on the inside. And Seymour might not have been worth the first-round draft pick given up for him, but when he was motivated, he wrecked games. He had 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Oakland and was a two-time Pro Bowler. Though nothing was as fearsome as the palm strike he delivered to the face mask of Ben Roethlisberger in 2011, with the Steelers' quarterback going down in a heap and Seymour getting ejected and fined.

Linebackers: OLB Khalil Mack (2014-17), MLB NaVorro Bowman (2017), OLB Kamerion Wimbley (2010-11)

Wait, didn't we already see Mack's name on this list? Indeed. Remember, he made NFL history in 2015 by being the first player named first-team All-Pro at two positions in the same year. So there. Bowman played only 10 games for Oakland but made an immediate impact, or did you forget he had the first interception of the season for a less-than-stingy defense? The pickings were extremely thin at this position for the decade. Wimbley had 16 sacks in two seasons, but perhaps no showing was more noteworthy than his four-sack, seven-tackle game at the Chargers in 2011 that also included six quarterback hits and one pass defended.

Cornerbacks: Nnamdi Asomugha (2003-10), Stanford Routt (2005-11)

Asomugha was All-Pro in 2010 despite having ZERO interceptions and just six passes defensed. But that was because he was so feared that no one tested him. Yes, he was that good that year. Routt assumed the mantle after Asomugha's departure to Philadelphia via free agency and responded by doubling his interception total from two in 2010 to four in 2011. It was been a thin decade at the position, even with first-round picks used on D.J. Hayden in 2013 and Gareon Conley in 2017, neither of whom outlasted their rookie contracts.

Safeties: FS Charles Woodson (2013-15), SS Tyvon Branch (2008-14)

It's been said that Woodson had Hall of Fame talent when he played in Oakland his first go-round, became a Hall of Famer in Green Bay and transcended the game when he returned to Oakland in 2013. A Pro Bowler in the 1990s, Woodson returned to the NFL's all-star game as a 39-year-old following his final season. Canton awaits. Meanwhile, Branch was a hard hitter (four forced fumbles, eight sacks) who ran like a gazelle and had soft hands (four interceptions). Michael Huff deserves some love here, too, for his versatility.

Specialists: PK Sebastian Janikowski (2000-16), P Shane Lechler (2000-12), LS Jon Condo (2007-17), RS Jacoby Ford (2010-13)

Seabass is the franchise's all-time leading scorer, was named to his lone Pro Bowl in 2011 and converted a career-best 91.2% of his field goal attempts in 2012. Lechler beats out Marquette King by a yard and a half, or the difference between their punting averages for the decade (48.3-46.8), though there was no official clock on King's booting of a Chucky doll off a Denver parking garage. Condo went to the Pro Bowl in 2011. Ford, meanwhile, returned three kicks for scores as a rookie (he added another the following year) and averaged 8.6 yards per punt return in 2013.

Coach: Jack Del Rio (2015-17)

Del Rio was the only Raiders coach to have a winning record in the decade (25-23) and took Oakland to its lone playoff appearance since the 2002 season. Tom Cable and Jackson were both 8-8, Tony Sparano was 3-9, Dennis Allen was 8-28 and Jon Gruden is 11-21.