Very few saw it coming this year, but the Oakland Raiders have a real shot at the playoffs. While there have been a number of veterans like Derek Carr, Darren Waller and Benson Mayowa, who have stepped it up this year, 2019 is all about the rookies. The team was expected to have a strong rookie class thanks to the fact that they had three picks in the first round. However, the Raiders have seemed to find gems throughout the entirety of the draft. This led Josh Jacobs to make a bold statement on Twitter.
It’s true that the Raiders rookie class is impressive, but Jacobs was somewhat unclear and he clarified.
It’s true that the 2019 Raiders rookie class looks excellent through 10 NFL games. That being said, they still have a long way to go before we start talking about them as the best rookie class ever. On the surface, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock totally nailed the draft. Josh Jacobs is already a star, Maxx Crosby could be the steal of the draft, Foster Moreau is consistently solid and players like Trayvon Mullen and Isaiah Johnson are starting to make plays. Though this class looks great, it’ll be a while before they prove they’re better than another Raiders rookie class.
2014 vs. 2019
In 2014, the Raiders put together a draft class that briefly turned the franchise around. It started with the drafting of Khalil Mack, who quickly became one of the best Oakland defenders in history. Derek Carr was taken in the second round and has already broken the franchise record for passing yards and remains the team’s leader. In later rounds, the team picked up eventual starters Gabe Jackson, Justin Ellis and T.J. Carrie. While Carr and Jackson are the only two still in Oakland, all of those players have found success with other teams.
It’ll be hard to fully judge the 2019 class until Johnathan Abram returns. The last of the first-round picks was lost for the year to injury after the first game of the season. If Clelin Ferrell keeps improving and Abram is as good as advertised, then the class could go down as one of the greatest in history. It’s just going to take a few years before anybody can definitively say that.
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Do the Raiders Have Two Rookie of the Year Candidates?
Since the Raiders drafted Maxx Crosby, he’s done nothing but impress. The fourth-round pick is second on the team in sacks and just set the Raiders franchise record for most sacks in a game by a rookie. If nobody was talking about Crosby as a Rookie of the Year candidate before, they sure are now. Josh Jacobs has already started his campaign.
Jacobs is currently the front runner for the offensive Rookie of the Year, so it’s looking like the Raiders could have two candidates by the end of the year. The New Orleans Saints did it in 2017 with Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore, so it’s not unheard of. Crosby has been great over the last few games, but he didn’t start to standout until Week 4. Nick Bosa in San Fransico is going to be hard to top, but a couple more multi-sack games for Crosby could get him in the conversation.