Raiders

PFF Overlooks Raiders Youth In Latest Top 25 Rankings

The Las Vegas Raiders thought they had built up an impressive youthful core through patient drafting. However, PFF digresses and overlooked them in their latest ranking.

Last year, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock did an excellent job of assembling a draft class that featured several foundational players. The season before, head coach Jon Gruden picked up the team’s offensive anchor for years to come. Nevertheless, Pro Football Focus (PFF) apparently isn’t too high on any Raiders players. In fact, none of Las Vegas’ players made it to their “Top 25 Under 25”.

Whether the slight is justifiable or not is debatable since PFF covers all 32 teams and not just the Silver and Black.

This doesn’t mean the Raiders don’t have their own batch of remarkable youngsters. Here are a few that PFF could’ve considered for their list:

Josh Jacobs, RB, Age 22

The top running back in PFF’s list was Carolina’s Christain McCaffrey and deservedly so. Jacobs for his part should one day be at the top of such a list if his rookie season was any indication and manages to stay healthy. In only 13 games last season, Jacobs totaled 1,150 rushing yards, 26 broken tackles, and 683 rushing yards after contact. If the Raiders want to keep Jacobs fresh and see him receive accolades such as the ones McCaffrey gets, they’ll have to limit the wear and tear he takes in the coming seasons.

Kolton Miller, T, Age 24

The Raiders’ prized tackle was Gruden’s first draft pick in his second stint with the team. Miller started all of his 32 career games in the NFL. The UCLA product has 11 total penalties called against him in his career, which isn’t bad. While he has yet to make a Pro Bowl, his work shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s a major reason why quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t been hit a lot since 2018. Also, it can be easy to forget about him on an offensive line that features Trent Brown, Rodney Hudson, and Richie Incognito.

Maxx Crosby, DE, Age 22

The Raiders drafted Clelin Ferrell in last year’s first round. Yet, it was their fourth-round selection that stole the show in 2019. Crosby only started ten games for the Raiders and still racked up ten sacks to go along with four forced fumbles. Even more superb were Crosby’s 31 QB pressures and his astoundingly low missed tackle percentage of 19%. Given the amount of investment the Raiders have made to their defense this offseason, Crosby will be surrounded by talent for years to come. That should translate into him topping PFF’s lists one day.

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Age 24

Arguably one of quarterback Derek Carr’s favorite targets last year, Renfrow will see his numbers go up with the influx of talent at the receiver position. His reliability was on full display as he only had four dropped passes in 71 targets. He alone caught 30 first-down passes in a receiver corps that revolved so much it would make a carousel jealous. A formation featuring Henry Ruggs III in the slot and Tyrell Williams on the outside will likely help Renfrow have a field day. The sophomore has the potential to be something special for the Raiders. Only time will tell if Carr and Gruden can maximize his talent.

There are other youngsters the Raiders will be relying on to get back to the playoffs. Recognition notwithstanding, the players listed above will be pivotal in the coming decade. It shouldn’t surprise anyone in Raider Nation if some, or all, of these players one day, crank PFF’s elusive offseason lists.

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*Top Photo: Ben Margot/Associated Press

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