The Oakland Raiders have had a tough couple of decades, to say the least. Unfortunately, for die-hard Raiders fans, those decades occurred just before the team skipped town to Las Vegas. They have only made the playoffs four times since 2000 and three of those times were the three first years of the 2000s (2000, 2001, and 2002). Since 2002, the Raiders’ singular playoff appearance came in 2016, which ended with a wild card loss to the Houston Texans.
Other than that lone playoff appearance in the 2010s decade, the Raiders were nothing short of abysmal. The Raiders went through six different coaches in 10 years which obviously did not bode well for continuity. Just to give some context, their total record in the decade was 65-97. That record is good for fourth-worst in the NFL during that time, only ahead of the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Cleveland Browns.
The fact that Oakland was so bad for so long, it made constructing this list particularly easy. There are some one-off players from bad Raiders teams who made the cut, but you may notice a trend that the majority of the players were either on that 2016 team or were a key part in the creation of that team. There are, however, some others who made an impact on some of the really bad teams. The point with this Oakland Raiders 2010s all-decade team is to highlight the players who were fan favorites and made the biggest impact on the team
Oakland Raiders 2010s All-Decade Team: Offense
Derek Carr (2014-Present)
Derek Carr is one of three players on the Raiders roster during the 2010s who has played with the team for more than five years. That fact alone should qualify him to be on this all-decade team. He has done more than that, however, to solidify his spot. He led the Raiders to a playoff berth in 2016 by finishing with a 12-4 record. In a series of unfortunate events, Carr got hurt in Week 16. The Chiefs then won the division after the Raiders lost to the Denver Broncos without Carr in Week 17. Then the Raiders were forced to play without their star quarterback on wild card weekend and got pummeled. Before Carr got hurt, there was a good chance the Raiders would make a deep playoff run.
It was truly unfortunate when Carr suffered that leg injury, but that seemed to be the luck of the team from “The Town” for the last three decades. Derek Carr qualifies for this list simply because of the 2016 season. He was in the thick of the MVP race and was seemingly leading his team to the promised land. He hasn’t been the same quarterback since that season for whatever reason. Whether it be the fear of more injuries or the league catching up to him, Derek Carr has fallen back to the middle of the pack of quarterbacks. He was, however, the best quarterback for the Raiders during the 2010s by far.
Darren McFadden (2008-2014)
Although Darren McFadden was never part of great success in Oakland, he had the biggest impact on the Raiders as a running back. He played for five different coaches during his seven years with the Raiders and was never on a winning team. The best his teams finished was 8-8 during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He also was a part of zero playoff appearances. Although he was on some pretty bad teams, he found success when healthy. His best year was 2010 when he started 13 games and ran for 1,157 yards. McFadden also averaged 5.2 yards per attempt, which was good for fourth in the league among running backs. McFadden was a fan favorite so there will not be many complaints about him making this list. Fans were heartbroken when the Raiders did not re-sign him after the 2014 season.
Honorable Mention: Latavius Murray (2013-2016)
Murray was the starting running back during the 2016 campaign and was a key cog in Oakland finding the playoffs that year.
Marcel Reece (2008-2016)
Speaking of fan favorites, Raiders fans wish Marcel Reece could still lace ‘em up. This list does not call for a fullback, but Reece was such a big part of the Raiders during the 2010s. He could not be left off of this all-decade team. One of the many coaches the Raiders had, Hugh Jackson, nicknamed Marcel Reece “the matchup nightmare.”
Reece was one of the first fullbacks in a long time who excelled in catching the ball out of the backfield. He would line up as a fullback, running back, and even wide receiver at times. In his best year, during the 2012 season, he caught 52 passes for just shy of 500 yards. This is unheard of from somebody at his position. He was no slouch on the blocking end either. McFadden had all of his best years with the Raiders running behind Reece. He made the pro bowl in each of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons.
Wide Receivers (2)
Amari Cooper (2015-2018)
Amari Cooper was the Raiders’ best receiver during the 2010s. He was the fourth overall pick in 2015 and was ready to make an impact right away. He began his career with 72 receptions, 1,070 yards, and six touchdowns in his rookie campaign. There was also speculation that there were even more stats left out on the field due to drops. Cooper broke the 1,000-yard mark again in his second year and was helping the team get better and better. His stats, however, did not live up to what Raiders fans had hoped. Before he got traded to the Cowboys he started to disappear at times but still was by far the most productive wide receiver the Raiders had during the 2010s. He also made a big impact on turning the team around for its lone playoff berth.
Michael Crabtree (2015-2017)
Michael Crabtree seemed to need a change of scenery after a couple of tough losses in the playoffs with the San Francisco 49ers. He fell out of favor with the team in San Francisco, and the Raiders were happy to scoop him up. Crabtree brought a much needed winning attitude and work ethic to the Raiders. He arrived the same year that Cooper was drafted and he helped Cooper get acclimated to the league.
Crabtree was a perfect counter to Cooper’s skills and they made a great one-two punch. Carr trusted Crabtree more than any other receiver as he seemed to always be targeted on third down or any other “gotta-have-it” situations. He was even more key during the 2016 season, catching a team-leading eight touchdowns, including multiple game-winners. Crabtree was a breath of fresh air along with Cooper to a receiving core that was devoid of talent for years.
Honorable Mention: Seth Roberts (2014-2018)
Another fan favorite, Seth Roberts was the key slot receiver during the 2016 season and finished the year with five touchdowns.
Jared Cook (2017-2018)
Jared Cook came to the Raiders from the Green Bay Packers in 2017 with the anticipation of the team being a playoff contender. Unfortunately, the team never fielded a winning team while he was in Oakland. Although the team was bad, Jared Cook was the perpetual security blanket for Derek Carr. He was targeted (similar to Crabtree) consistently on third downs and in the red zone.
Cook had his best year in 2018 when he caught 68 balls for 896 yards and six touchdowns. During his time with Oakland, he led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He paved the way for Darren Waller to take the reigns during the 2019 season. Carr ended up using Waller the same way he used Cook. Even though Cook was never part of a successful Raiders team, he made enough of an impact to be the best tight end the Raiders fielded during the 2010s
Honorable Mention: Darren Waller (2018-2019)
Waller had taken over for Cook and the production hasn’t slowed down. He also led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2019
Offensive Tackle (2)
Jared Veldheer (2010-2013)
Jared Veldheer was a bright spot during the four years that he played for the Raiders. Once again, they were not very good during his time, but they did have two 8-8 seasons in a row with him starting at left tackle. He was protecting the blindside of Jason Campbell and then Carson Palmer and did a great job of that. Veldheer was also a mauler when he first came out of college and helped Darren McFadden achieve some success behind his offensive line. He has never made the Pro Bowl, but he is still in the league with the Packers and is versatile enough to switch to right tackle and prolong his career even more.
Donald Penn (2014-2018)
Donald Penn was one of the first players to come over to Oakland and change the team around for the better. He was the first guy to sign with the Raiders on the offensive line out of the group of guys that started during that 2016 season. Penn was the leader of the O-line during his time and brought a nasty mentality. His leadership helped mold the 2016 group for success. That group was known as one of, if not, the best offensive line groups in the NFL. Carr was only sacked 16 times on the season, and most of those came with backups starting. Donald Penn was a key factor in helping the 2016 team make the playoffs. He will be remembered as one of the first guys to help turn the team around and will always be beloved in Oakland.
Rodney Hudson (2015-Present)
After a four-year stint with the Raiders rival Kansas City Chiefs, Rodney Hudson was the third addition to the new and improved offensive line. He came a year after Donald Penn and Gabe Jackson and together they helped the Raiders O-line turn into a beast for years to come. Hudson made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017, leading the offensive line to great success. He was the best center in the league, in my opinion, during that time. He also made the Pro Bowl again in 2019 and doesn’t look to be slowing down.
Offensive Guard (2)
Kelechi Osemele (2016-2018)
Kelechi “KO” Osemele came to the Raiders in 2016 with a winning mentality. He was the last piece to the puzzle for the 2016 O-line. KO was essential to the Raiders being able to run the ball with success. He came in with the idea that he was going to be mean, nasty, and help the Raiders finally “build a bully.” With Osemele’s help, the Raiders did just that. They bullied teams, and always got a push in the running game. They also held defenses to 16 sacks on the season. With the Raiders track record before KO arrived, the 16 sacks allowed was an incredible turnaround.
Gabe Jackson (2014-Present)
Gabe Jackson is one of the few offensive linemen (and players in general) the Raiders have drafted who is still with the team. The only other player on the team who is tenured as long as Jackson is Derek Carr, who was drafted the same year. Jackson was mentored by Donald Penn in his rookie season and benefited greatly from that. He has become one of the best offensive guards in the NFL and is especially great in the run game.
With the Raiders able to run behind him and Osemele, defenses had to pick their poison with which side to run commit. He is a bully and is athletic enough to get out in pulling situations and find linebackers in the second level. The Raiders finally found a gem of an offensive lineman in the draft. He is still with the team and Raiders fans hope for him to be for years to come.