Quality Young Starters (Offense)
Dec 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Latavius Murray, Michael Crabtree, Rod Streater, Clive Walford
Starting with the offensive side of the ball, four players make the cut as quality young starters. Three of them, however, are almost completely potential based. The fourth one may not even be here after this season, so all of these inclusions might be generous.
Crabtree is the one player in this group with a proven track record of above-average NFL production, and at just 27 years young, he could be a solid contributor for several years. He’s only on a one-year deal but if he puts up good numbers and isn’t a problem in the locker room, he could comeback on a multi-year deal.
Streater is a great story as the undrafted guy performing well above expectations, but he needs to stay healthy. In 2013, he had 60 receptions for 888 years and four touchdowns. Not huge numbers, but definitely solid.
Vic Tafur has said that Streater is having a great camp so far, giving the DB’s fits off the line and with his route-running. If he can stay healthy, it’s reasonable to believe that he can be a very good #3 WR or a low-end #2 WR.
The Latavius Murray hype train was full-steam ahead after the Kansas City game last season, and it made everyone wonder why the previous coaching staff didn’t give him the opportunity earlier in the year.
He’s got just about everything you would want in a running back. Size, speed, vision, ability to break tackles and make guys miss in the open field. He needs to stay healthy, and the sample size is small, but he definitely has the attention of Raider Nation.
In Bill Musgrave’s run-focused offense and with Mike Tice leading the offensive line, Murray could be primed for a breakout season.
Lastly, 3rd round pick Clive Walford is a selection I loved. He was widely regarded as the second best TE in the draft, with some experts even having him ahead of Maxx Williams for the #1 spot.
He’s an excellent pass catcher and a great athlete, and should provide as a nice security blanket for Carr, with some big play potential.
One last note on Walford – The U has had some phenomenal tight ends and Walford has broken just about all of their records. He’s got some serious talent.
Next: Raiders Foundation Pieces: Quality Young Starters (Defense)