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Hue Jackson Bets the Farm

Huge action from Hue Jackson. Aaron Curry last week. Carson Palmer today.

The Raiders gave up a lot for Palmer, but he's a better quarterback than Jason  Campbell. The Raiders lost Campbell for a significant period of time and were faced with starting Kyle Boller for the rest of the season if they didn't make a move for a quarterback.

The time is now for the Raiders and Hue Jackson pushed all his chips into the middle by bringing in Carson Palmer. The Raiders have only two picks left in the 2012 draft and with the Carson Palmer trade started dealing 2013 draft selections.

This trade and the moves of the past two seasons setup the Raiders for success going forward. Allow us to examine position-by-position and pick-by-pick and what the future may hold for this team and why the move for Carson Palmer was still a good one.

If the Raiders go far in the playoffs under Palmer those draft picks become low in each round and with most of the young players on the roster locked up for the next two seasons the time is now for the Silver and Black. Below is a snapshot of the Raiders outlook going forward.

2012 Draft
1st: Carson Palmer
2nd: Taiwan Jones and Joseph Barksdale
3rd: Terrelle Pryor
4th: Jason Campbell
7th: Aaron Curry

Compensatory Picks for Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery and Zach Miller should net a third and up to a fourth-round pick.

2013 Draft

1st: Palmer if team gets team to AFC Championship game*
2nd: Palmer if the team doesn't  get to AFC Championship*

*Conflicting reports as to the compensation.

Notable 2012 Free Agents

Michael Bush - Will he be content to be a backup or will he be able to get a mega-deal elsewhere? Time will tell and he could be a casualty of the Raiders cap situation.

Chaz Schilens - His injuries really sidelined his career. He could be retained for cheap as a backend WR.

Tyvon Branch - Is Mike Mitchell ready? Has Branch taken the leap that the Raiders have wanted him to make? Either way, he shouldn't command a large amount

Marcel Reece - He's a fullback and the Raiders will pay him well for that position.

Jason Campbell - He'll find a new home next season. Good dude, average quarterback. Unfortunate circumstances.

Quarterback

Carson Palmer is the guy now and for the next few years. Pryor will be given the Aaron Rodgers treatment.

Runningback

Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones. Michael Bush is unknown going forward. The Raiders will need to add some depth at the position, but as long as McFadden is healthy this is still the biggest strength on the team. Reece will be back next season as well.

Receiver

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy are all under contract through 2012. Those guys are the anchors of this group and Chaz Schilens and various other will fill it out. An exciting young group that was a huge weakness just two seasons ago.

Offensive line

Very young group that has come together nicely this season. The Raiders will eventually ease Bruce Campbell and Joseph Barksdale into the mix on the left side. Needs to add depth, but they should be able to find quality depth for cheap on the free agent market if needed.

Defensive line

Richard Seymour is around for at least two more seasons along with Tommy Kelly. The Raiders defensive line may begin to show signs of age in the coming seasons, but as it stands now this is a strong group. Expect the Raiders to re-tool the defensive line in the 2013 draft.

Linebacker

Rolando McClain is playing in his sophomore season so he has at least two more seasons before the Raiders look elsewhere. Kamerion Wimbley just signed a new deal and the Raiders think they can make something out of Aaron Curry. The group still needs depth and there are some questions here, but it isn't the most pressing need on the team and the Raiders can likely address it without a high draft pick.

Cornerback

Stanford Routt signed a new deal and the Raiders drafted two corners in Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa. The position needs depth. When one player goes down the Raiders turn to free safety Michael Huff as a corner. If there is one position to worry about not having many 2012 draft picks it is at the cornerback position.

Safety

Michael Huff signed a new deal this offseason. Branch is a free agent in 2012 and unless the Raiders feel like Mitchell can play at the same level as Branch he'll likely be the Raiders top priority going into 2012.

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