The Oakland Raiders are looking to bounce back from a four-win season in 2018, and these five players will need to be great in order for them to do so.
Prior to the 2018 NFL season, the Oakland Raiders got their head coach back, nudging Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth, and back onto the sidelines. Unfortunately for Raiders fans, Gruden did not bring the team much success in year No. 1 back as the head coach, as they won only four games, and saw stars Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper get traded.
Still, there is hope for this franchise in 2019, as they have revamped the entire roster, and brought in some star power on both sides of the ball. Of course, coming off a four-win season, there is a lot of work to do, and there are some guys on the team who will be crucial to this team getting to the top of the AFC West.
Here are five Raiders that need to be great in 2019.
Clelin Ferrell Edge
With the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, there was plenty of speculation to where the Raiders would go with the selection. Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen was still available, and seen as a top-5 talent, but instead, the Raiders front office decided to select two-time national champion, Clelin Ferrell from Clemson.
The feeling was that Ferrell fit the Raiders scheme the best, and as a rookie in 2019, he is going to be expected to step right in and be a dominant force along the offensive line. Remember, this is a Raiders team that got to the quarterback only 13 times last season, which even if they doubled that total, they still would have finished dead last in the NFL.
Ferrell has the kind of motor that could make him a double-digit sack guy at the next level, an while he will likely never be the kind of player Khalil Mack was for Oakland, he has Pro Bowl ability. It will be interesting to see how he does as a rookie, but if he can step in and be a legitimate edge rusher at the NFL level in year one, that will be a huge boost to this Raiders defensive line.