The Oakland Raiders are a franchise that is in rebuilding mode, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any talent. Their offensive depth chart isn’t the most loaded in the NFL; everyone knows that.
Let’s take a look at each offensive position and see which players are there for the Raiders.
After acquiring Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks this offseason, most people have labeled him as the presumed starter. Among others at the position for the Raiders include Terrelle Pryor, and rookies Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin.
All four of these young guns have the potential to take over the Raiders offense but at this point it just seems most likely for Flynn to start. He has the most experience and has had the exclusive chance to learn from legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Wilson has impressed thus far and with his accuracy and arm strength, so don’t be surprised if he makes a run for the starting job come training camp.
The Raiders have a solid running back corps for this upcoming season, featuring guys like Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings, and even rookie Latavius Murray from the University of Central Florida.
McFadden is as strong and versatile as running backs come in the NFL, but his injury-prone career has proven to be disappointing to many fans. If he can stay healthy and put up some big numbers for the Raiders this season, then it would help take a lot of pressure off of the quarterback issues.
Rashad Jennings arrived to Oakland this offseason via free agency, and the former Jacksonville Jaguar looks to back up McFadden and help ease the load for him. Murray should sit back and learn from these two veterans and wait for his shot.
Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Rod Streater, and Juron Criner headline the list of wide receivers for the Raiders. All four of these guys are young and speedy, and more than capable of having a breakout season to electrify this Oakland squad.
Moore will look to take over the role of the team’s top receiver while Ford could work nicely in the slot. Streater boasts good speed and quality catching ability, and could very well take over the third spot.
Criner and Streater will go at it for playing time, but hey, what’s wrong with some friendly competition?
A season ago, Brandon Myers lead the Raiders in receptions, yards, and first down catches. Well, he is now a member of the New York Giants and the Raiders have some options to replace them.
Richard Gordon and David Ausberry have been with the team and could very well take over the top spot. But the team also drafted two new tight ends in the 2013 NFL Draft in Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera.
It’s hard to tell at this point who will come out on top since none of them are really at a star level, but whoever takes charge will surely do a solid job.
There’s really no question here that the starting fullback of the Raiders will be Marcel Reece. Reece, a big and bulky guy, is perfect for the position and he does a tremendous job of paving the way for McFadden and the other running backs.
Reece is also very flexible and has the ability to play at running back and wide receiver, and it’s something that the Raiders should not take for granted. With an injured McFadden last year, Reece was able to step in and take command of the situation and help the team.
With Jared Veldheer and Menelik Watson as the offensive tackles, Stephen Wisniewski at center, and Tony Bergstrom and Khalif Barnes at the guard position, the Raiders boast an above-average offensive line.
Again, this is just a projection, but I think this would be a good combination and one that would be able to hold off pass rushers pretty well.
The key here is really to just protect the quarterback and make sure that he is able to get passes off without being rushed on almost every play, something that Raiders fans saw Carson Palmer go through last year.
Overall, the Raiders do not have a bad offensive depth chart, but there are definitely some areas that they can improve on. It will be interesting to see how this group works together next season.