The Oakland Raiders held on to all three of their first round picks this past April, but will all three be in the starting lineup in Week 1?
The Oakland Raiders kick off their 2019 NFL season against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, and they will certainly have a different look than the 2018 team. This offseason, the Raiders have bolstered their roster on both sides of the ball, capitalizing on a monster NFL Draft, as well as making some huge moves in free agency, and via trades.
While the team added Antonio Brown via a trade, and then brought in top starters like Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams, and Lamarcus Joyner in free agency, they also hit a home run in the draft. Holding three first round picks heading into the draft, the Raiders stayed put, making all three selections, adding talent on offense and defense.
With their No. 4 overall pick, the Raiders added a talented defensive end in Clelin Ferrell, who will be tasked with building back up a position group that lacked talent in 2018. As a team, the Raiders managed to muster up only 13 sacks, which was 0.5 more than former star defensive end Khalil Mack had with the Chicago Bears by himself.
Ferrell is certainly going to be a starter in Week 1, but will the other two first round picks follow?
Josh Jacobs was the team’s second of three first round picks, and will be asked to come in and be a weapon on the Raiders offense immediately. With a good summer, Jacobs should enter Week 1 as the feature back, but he has a lot of competition in Doug Martin and Jalen Richard.
The thing that makes Jacobs so special is his ability to make plays happen in the run, and passing game, making him a three-down back. Head coach Jon Gruden has been clamoring for someone to fill that role, and Jacobs looks to be that guy.
With pick No. 27, Oakland tapped Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram, who comes to the NFL with a reputation of being a hard-hitting defensive back. He has already been moved into the first team alongside Karl Joseph, giving the Raiders two safeties who can really come up and make the big hit.
Entering minicamp, it looks like all three first round picks will dot the starting lineup against the Broncos, but a lot can change this summer. In a perfect world, they would all start, and have monster seasons, as the Raiders look to rebound from a four-win season in 2018.