Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr’s playmakers ranked in middle of the pack
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders added a ton of firepower on offense this offseason, and the group was recently ranked in the middle of the pack as a group.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders struggled to make plays on the offensive side of the ball, as quarterback Derek Carr was running for his life all season long. The offensive line could not get any protection, as they battled injuries, and inexperience for most of the season, and Carr’s playmakers were nothing to write home about.
Heading into 2019, the Raiders have addressed both those issues, including bringing in an elite right tackle in Trent Brown, and adding arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Antonio Brown along with some other key moves.
Brad Gagnon from Bleacher Report recently put together a ranking of every quarterback’s group of playmakers and the Raiders were listed in the middle of the pack at No. 16 overall.
In the piece, Gagnon looks at the addition of Josh Jacobs at running back, and his likelihood of being in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year discussion. Also, the tandem of Brown and Tyrell Williams is an incredible upgrade, while the team lost points for letting Jared Cook go in free agency.
Gagnon is right, the Raiders did upgrade the wideout spot in a major way, and Jacobs has the do-everything talent to be an instant impact player at running back. However, the Raiders do have talent at tight end in Darren Waller, Luke Willson, and rookie Foster Moreau to name a few, so there should not be a huge drop-off in production.
Outside of Williams and Brown, the Raiders also have guys like J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant, and rookie Hunter Renfrow, who should be a perfect slot wide receiver at the NFL level. Overall, this is an offense that will be explosive if Carr has the time to throw.
Looking at Carr’s supporting cast last season, the Raiders likely would have been ranked at the bottom of the NFL, as he ended the year with Jordy Nelson as his No. 1 wide receiver, and Doug Martin at running back. The fact is, this is a much better collection of talent heading into 2019, and they could be ranked much higher at the end of the season if Carr gets the protection he needs.
While these rankings have no meaning as to what will really happen on the field, they are interesting to take a look at. This is a Raiders roster that will have a ton more depth to it heading into 2019, and after a solid statistical season from Carr with little weapons in 2018, he could be in for a monster 2019 campaign.