Raiders players under 25 receive troubling ranking from ESPN

The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves toward the bottom of the list when it comes to young talent.
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders were ranked 31 out of 32 NFL teams in a recent article by ESPN NFL Analyst Aaron Schatz that examined each team's talent under 25 years old. Schatz was not kind about the young talent on the Raiders roster.

“The Raiders' top two young guys may be tight ends: 21-year-old first-round pick Brock Bowers and 23-year-old Michael Mayer," Schatz wrote. "The offensive line also features some young talent, with 24-year-old Thayer Munford Jr. at right tackle and 21-year-old second-round rookie Jackson Powers-Johnson possibly starting at left guard. Running back Zamir White doesn't turn 25 until mid-September, barely making it to be counted for this list. With Josh Jacobs departing for Green Bay in the offseason, White will assume the starting role in 2024. Defensive lineman Tyree Wilson, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 draft, is 24 years old this season and may play on the edge, the interior or both. He's coming off a disappointing rookie season where he had only 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble.”

Key young Raiders players

While the Raiders lack the young talent of teams like the Detroit Lions or Houston Texans, the potential for players to develop is there. The current draft class has high expectations and even had three Raiders rookies on NFL Network's projected All-Rookie Team (tight end Brock Bowers, offensive guard Jackson Powers-Johnson, and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg), which is something we recently discussed. 2024 is the first draft class of the Antonio Pierce era, and hopefully will be the first of many great drafts.

It is worth mentioning that when discussing the young players on the Raiders roster, Schatz excluded to name a few key players who are in this age range. Since being selected in the 2022 draft, guard Dylan Parham has been a reliable and important member of the Raiders offensive line. Additionally, two players who are starting their second seasons—wide receiver Tre Tucker and cornerback Jakorian Bennett—hope to have breakthrough campaigns.

The majority of talent lies within the veteran group of this Raiders roster, and the organization hasn't had much success hitting on draft picks lately. However, as previously mentioned, the 2024 draft class is the first for both head coach Antonio Pierce and general manager Tom Telesco. It will be interesting to see how the rookies perform throughout training camp and the season. If Pierce is able to find success in the draft and is able to develop players who fit his system, the future of the Raiders can look very bright.