Making the playoffs is priority one for the Oakland Raiders, but regarding their roster who among them has a chance to reach the Pro Bowl?
Rod Streater – WR
There is little arguing the potential of wide receiver Rod Streater but ongoing quarterback issues have really hampered his development in Oakland. With veteran Matt Schaub in town, he may finally have a chance to cut loose. Schaub knows how to use big receivers and Streater is all that at 6’3″. Provided he gets help from other receivers to draw away coverage, a Pro Bowl is possible if he can crack 1,000 yards.
Marcel Reece – FB
Injuries have ravaged the running back position for the Oakland Raiders for year, often putting the team in a position to move fullback Marcel Reece to tail back. He has responded with back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, showcasing his running ability averaging 4.7 yards per carry and his soft receiving hands with over 800 yards in two seasons. Given the state of the fullback position, Reece should remain a favorite to head back.
Justin Tuck – DE
He may be on the wrong side of 30 but Justin Tuck proved in 2013 that he is still a proven pass rusher in the NFL, notching 11.5 sacks for the Giants. That is why the Raiders signed him, hoping he can produce one or two more seasons like that. With the addition of LaMarr Woodley across from him, Tuck should have ample opportunities on single blocks. He must stay healthy, but if he has good health and repeats the feat he should make it to Hawaii.
Khalil Mack – OLB
For a time he was a contender to go #1 overall in the draft but Khalil Mack will settle for top five. The Oakland Raiders may have “settled” for the best all-around player in the 2014 class. Mack is a versatile athlete who can rush the passer, drop into coverage and track down ball carriers. That ability should allow him to make plays. With some help from a lot of veteran experience around him, Mack could hit the ground running all the way to the Pro Bowl his first year.
Sleeper: Tyvon Branch – SS
An unfortunate injury ended his season after just two games but safety Tyvon Branch still has the confidence of the Oakland Raiders coaches. He has never made a Pro Bowl before, but the 27-year old has also not played on a team this talented. If he returns to his old form and learns to take advantage of the help around him, he could be in for a career year, and perhaps a little recognition from the national media.