Power Ranking The Best Current Raiders (1-5): Jacobs, Crosby, Or Adams At No. 1?

Power Ranking The Best Current Raiders (1-5): Jacobs, Crosby, Or Adams At No. 1?

The Las Vegas Raiders recently wrapped up their preseason this weekend, clearing the final hurdle for the return of regular season football. The Silver and Black performed admirably this offseason amidst constant roster turnover and criticisms. The result? Some unprecedented excitement entering the upcoming campaign.

Before we turn our attention fully to Week 1 vs. the Denver Broncos, it is time for the final entry in our Power Ranking project. Last week, we ranked the best current Raiders from 10 to 6 in descending order. To the surprise of some, Jimmy Garoppolo failed to earn a place in that article. And spoiler alert: He won’t be making an appearance today either.

MORE: No Jimmy Garoppolo?! Power Ranking The Best Current Raiders (6-10)

Instead, the cream of the crop will take center stage in Sin City. Even the most skeptical of fans cannot deny the top-end talent that litters the roster in Vegas. Without further ado, let’s kick this top-five list off with a steady hand at left tackle.

The Raiders Have One Of The Best LTs In The NFL

5. Kolton Miller, LT

Kolton Miller has certainly come a long way from being an iffy first-round selection at the behest of Tom Cable. Say what you will about his continued struggles with a good bull rush, but Miller has clawed his way into the top 10 at his position.

The UCLA alum has received a pass-blocking grade of at least 81.0 in each of the past three seasons (via PFF). In 2023, Miller finished tenth overall in the entire NFL with an 84.8 grade while finishing 12th in run blocking. The sixth-year veteran has become a true cornerstone for the franchise.

Just like Tom Cable drew it up.

Kickers Deserve Love, Too

4. Daniel Carlson, K

For my money, there is no better kicker in the NFL than Daniel Carlson. Justin Tucker may have him beat in leg strength, but Carlson has been the more consistent of the two over the last few seasons. DC has made 90 percent of field goals since 2020. How many other kickers can say that? None. Zero.

During that same period, Carlson was one of nine kickers with 20 or more attempts from 50 yards or longer. No other kicker has made 80 percent of their tries from that range. Except for Carlson, he’s made 87 percent of them (21/24).

Did I forget to mention he set a record for most 50+ yard field goals made in a season during the 2022 campaign? The man is money, and the Raiders may rely on him more than ever in 2023.

The Raiders Boast Three Players Worthy Of No. 1, Including Maxx Crosby

3. Maxx Crosby, EDGE

Maxx Crosby has become the heart and soul of the Raiders. The former fourth-round pick is one of the very best at one of the most premium positions in football. No defensive lineman played more snaps in 2022 than the Eastern Michigan alum, and he always made his presence felt.

The Condor tied eighth in sacks (12.5), including a whopping 81 pressures in total. Crosby has also become a menace against opposing ground games, ending the season as the third-ranked edge defender against the run (per PFF).

Overall, Pro Football Focus considered Mad Maxx the fourth-best rusher in the NFL. A higher 2023 sack total could see Crosby elevate to the top spot in these Power Rankings.

Raiders’ RB Josh Jacobs Falls Just Shy Of The Top Spot

2. Josh Jacobs, RB

Josh Jacobs realized his incredible potential during the 2022 season. Needless to say, without JJ, the Raiders would have selected much earlier in the 2023 NFL Draft.

What truly makes Jacobs special — and a perfect back for Las Vegas — is his ability to create before and after contact. Yes, Jacobs led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,653 yards. But what’s most impressive is his 0.21 missed tackles forced per carry and over 3.0 yards after contact (per PFF). The 25-year-old makes the Raiders’ run blocking look much better than it actually is with his unique ability to evade and punish would-be tacklers.

Forget the new quarterback. The success of the offense hinges on two guys. One of them is Josh Jacobs and the other is…

Was There Ever A Doubt? Davante Adams Is The Man

1. Davante Adams, WR

Save your shock and awe, folks. The film was already spoiled before you stepped into the theater.

Some would have you think Davante Adams has been supplanted from his perch as the best at his position due to age. At 30 years young, DA17 has plenty left in the tank.

Those same doubters probably assumed Adams would suffer without Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Fresno State alum silenced those doubts with one of his best seasons yet. The 10-year vet finished the 2022 season with 100 catches, 1,516 receiving yards, and a league-leading 14 touchdowns.

Those numbers would undoubtedly be higher if Derek Carr had been allowed to finish the year under center. It remains to be seen if Jimmy G can duplicate the deep ball production Adams had with DC4, but we all know one thing for sure.

Number 17 will be open. Early and often.

*Top Photo: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

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