May 8, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight ends coach Bobby Johnson (right) with tight ends Terrell Pinson (44), Gabe Holmes (82) and Clive Walford (88) at rookie minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It is no secret that Oakland Raiders have struggled in recent years because they haven’t had enough stars or role players to contend in the loaded AFC West. Stars consistently win their matchups in games and make things happen to change the outcome of them. Role players do the same by doing damage when stars draw attention from the opposing team or force them to play straight-up so the stars can shine. When you lack in those two categories, you are missing those matchup advantages and that is why the franchise has struggled during the rebuilding process.
Luckily, the Oakland Raiders have more key players in 2015 that will allow them to be more competitive than during any other season under general manager Reggie McKenzie.
The Raiders offensive line is a collective star, so quarterback Derek Carr will be able to be a star this year. Receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper will be the stars that help Carr along to stardom. Running back Latavius Murray showed enough to make many believe he could be a star as well.
On defense, edge-rusher Khalil Mack is also expected to make that jump to stardom. Meanwhile, strong safety Charles Woodson maintains his shine as he ages like the fine wine at his winery. Nose tackle Dan Williams gets his props but there are a few players on that defense and the offense that are being slept on as players that will make big impacts, making the Raiders better than many expect.
Turn the page to see who they are.
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