Five Potential Breakout Oakland Raiders In 2015

1 of 6

Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Keith McGill (39) celebrates after a touchdown in front of cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) and strong safety Brandian Ross (29) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Although it may be difficult to see the progress in a 3-13 season, the Raiders organization took a major step in 2014 towards building a team that can finally end the ongoing 12-year playoff drought.

The Oakland Raiders have ultimately found youthful leadership on both sides of the ball. First year players Derek Carr and Khalil Mack thrived during their first year in silver and black, and whether or not the two meet their potential is what will determine Oakland’s future.

Carr started all 16 games for the Oakland Raiders in 2014, the first quarterback to do so in Oakland since Rich Gannon in 2002. The former Fresno State Bulldog struggled to stretch the field as he averaged just 5.5 yards per attempt, but he did throw for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns.

As for Oakland’s leader on the defensive side of the ball, Mack finished the year with 76 combine tackles and four sacks. He also finished third in the race to become the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Despite having two young, productive prospects, Oakland will not be able to take the next step towards a successful 2015 campaign without the help of some other rising stars on their roster.

Here are five surprise players on pace to take the Oakland Raiders franchise to the next level in 2015.

Next: Potential Breakout Raiders: Justin Ellis