Despite having a dearth of talent at many positions in 2018, the Oakland Raiders roster has made a complete 180 in 2019, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Almost every position group has improved greatly. This has led to the team already matching their 2018 win just halfway through the 2019 season.
The defense is still lacking in many ways, but the offense has been good enough to carry the team. Oakland only had one player make the pro bowl in 2018 and that was tight end Jared Cook, who is no longer with the team. Players who have been there before like Rodney Hudson, Derek Carr and Richie Incognito have a really good shot at getting selected once again. However, there are a number of players on the team who haven’t been selected to the pro bowl. Below we’re going to go through the top candidates who could find themselves in their first pro bowl after the season.
It’s not unheard of for a rookie running back to make it to the pro bowl and Josh Jacobs seems to be well on his way. He’s not only the favorite to win offensive rookie of the year, but he’s also cemented himself as one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL. He’s currently second in the AFC in rushing yards and sixth in the NFL. He’s also top-10 in rushing touchdowns.
Yes, he’s got all the stats, but he’s also been the focal point of a very impressive Raider offense. Jacobs also has the analytics on his side. According to Pro Football Focus, there’s no running back in the NFL that has been better rushing the ball. Not even Ezekiel Elliot or Dalvin Cook are grading better than him.
If Jacobs keeps it up, and there’s no reason to think that he can’t, he should be making his first pro bowl at the end of the year.
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Darren Waller came out of nowhere to start 2019 and just might be the best receiving tight end in the NFL. He’s third among all tight ends in the NFL in receiving yards and also third in receptions. Waller has also shown off impressive hands as he has the third-lowest drop rate among tight ends, per PFF.
It wasn’t long ago that Waller was almost on his way out of the NFL as he was suspended multiple times for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Now he’s got a big contract and could be getting a number of accolades at the end of the year. He should make the pro bowl and also be strongly considered for Comeback Player of the Year.
Based on the massive contract the Raiders gave Trent Brown in the offseason, you would think that he’s been to multiple pro bowls. Well, he actually hasn’t. That could very well change this year as he’s played a big role in shutting down the likes of Von Miller, Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt. He’s missed some time because of injuries, which may hurt his chances, but his dominant play can’t be ignored. He’s only given up one sack all season.
According to ESPN, Brown has the best Pass Block Win Rate out of any offensive tackle in the NFL. The Raider offensive line went from one of the NFL’s worst to one of its best. A large reason for the improvement is Brown. He’s playing like one of the best, if not the best, tackles in the NFL and if he is able to finish the season healthy, he should be heading to the pro bowl.