Oakland Raiders had 3 of the top position players in 2016

Pro Football Focus recently shared some rankings, and it paints a dominant picture for the Raiders.

As the Oakland Raiders continue their offseason programs, Pro Football Focus recently shared some positional rankings on some of its key players. Safe to say the team has a lot of dominant talent that’ll keep the Silver and Black in prime contention for quite some time.

Raiders: “The Mack Attack”

Linebacker Khalil Mack who came in ranked as number one at his position is a “no brainer” at this point. The absolute dominance in which he plays the game is beyond belief, but what’s scary is the lethal combination of his young age and the current trend which currently defines Mack.

Essentially since Mack’s rookie campaign in 2014, all of his stats have trended upward as he’s played in every single game and the total number of sacks, tackles, and forced fumbles has gone up. The current trend is as follows from his rookie season in 2014 thru last season:

  • Tackles: 76, 77, 73
  • Sacks: 4, 15, 11
  • Forced Fumbles: 1, 2, 5

What’s an even scarier thought is what’ll happen if all the young talent that was added this offseason can equate to even more production from the “Mack Attack”. Kevin Boilard made a point that the Associated Press changed its selection process because of Mack’s performances, now that’s impact.

Video Credit: Youtube Channel RaiderCentral 


Kevin Boilard of 247 Sports shed light on the superioty of Mack’s game:

“Last season, Mack was named Defensive Player of the Year and was named first-team All-Pro yet again (the Associated Press changed the selection process to prevent him from being named twice this time). He was the saving grace for a Raiders defense that ranked 26th in the NFL and played a large role in the team’s 12-4 finish and first trip to the playoffs since the 2002 season. He earned a grade of 93.9, the fourth highest grade PFF has ever given to an edge defender.”


“Demolition in the Trenches”

Two of the other three players that PFF highlighted are part of the Raiders’ offensive line that absolutely demolished opposing defenses in the trenches last season, Rodney Hudson and Kelechi Osemele, respectively.

Both Osemele and Hudson ranked in the “Top 5” of their respective positions’ rankings and the results are evident by the play of the offense, in particular, that of quarterback Derek Carr who had an MVP-caliber season who stood upright most of the season.

While many of the current key players for the Silver and Black have been drafted by general manager Reggie McKenzie, these two behemoths are actually two of the best investments via free agency that the Raiders have made in the last 15 years by far.

“Teams all try and build through the draft, but the Raiders have shown that if you have the spending money, you may be better off shooting for proven commodities when it comes to the offensive line—such is the strike rate of linemen coming into the NFL from the college game.”

-Sam Monson on the value of Osemele

One thing that will be interesting to see is how the Raiders offensive line develops in the coming seasons’ as linemen usually don’t have a long shelf life with all the punishment they take. Hudson and Osemele aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so barring major injury these two will remain elite linemen for quite some time.

Video Credit: Youtube Channel RaiderCentral 

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