Oakland Raiders: 2014 Draft Class will make a splash

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Aug 28, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (7) under pressure from Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis (78) and Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch (33) during the first half at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Equally important to the success of a team is the defensive line.  Especially the middle or interior line.  With the first 4th Round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Raiders grabbed Justin Ellis (DT).  Jelly, as he’s known, will be a key factor on this defensive front, and he will wreak havoc on opposing Guards and Centers.  He is massive, and his motor runs very high.

Next to have a huge impact for the Raiders as a rookie will be 7th Round selection T.J. Carrie (CB).  Not only did Carrie prove that his skills as a Punt Returner are vital to Special Teams, but he showed the coaching staff that he is ready to be a cover CB in the NFL.  The game is not too big for him.  Two of his punt returns went for 50+ yards in four games, and there’s no denying that his 4.43 40-yard dash speed will be very welcome when he breaks away.  Granted, he still has a lot to learn and earn as a cover CB, but he has earned the right to be on the field with the starters.

Then, there’s 7th Round selection Shelby Harris (DE).  He remained consistent throughout Training Camp and Preseason, and his high level of play will make him a detrimental rotational substitute for LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck.  It will be awesome to see #75 sacking QB’s again in Oakland.

Not to be forgotten or excluded from the discussion of playing time or first year contributors, 4th Round selection Keith McGill (CB) and 7th Round selection Jonathan Dowling (S) will also see their roles on defense increase throughout the year.

Six of the eight players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft will be starting and heavily contributing on both offense and defense.  This speaks volumes to the job that the Raiders Scouting Staff has done.  The right pieces/players are beginning to fall into place.  Now, it’s time to watch the Oakland Raiders defy all the expected NFL logic and predictions.  It’s time to play some football.  It’s time for the Silver and Black Attack.  Go Raiders!