24. Ben Heeney
Middle linebacker has been a constant source of frustration for Oakland Raiders fans since general manager Reggie McKenzie took over the front office. Nick Roach’s career ending injury subjecting fans to poor play from Miles Burris and others as middle linebacker presented a gaping hole in the Raiders roster on defense once Roach was forced to retire.
Enter young prospect Ben Heeney, who looks like the answer at middle linebacker as a versatile and athletic player the Raiders have been waiting for at the position. A promising rookie season giving the coaching staff glimpses of a player who could be a starter for years to come in the middle of the field for the team.
Heeney wasn’t handed the starting role in his first season, but he did start in three games and flashed plenty of talent with 27 tackles and a forced fumble. After the Raiders failed to sign a veteran at the position this offseason, Heeney should be the starting MLB and a prime candidate to be a breakout player on defense in 2016 as it looks like Jack Del Rio has the future of the position ready to go.
– Chase Ruttig