There’s only a couple of weeks left in the season and with the playoffs essentially out of the reach for the Oakland Raiders, it’s time to start evaluating who’s going to be on the roster come 2020. There are still tons of young players sitting in free agency waiting for a chance to prove themselves. The Raiders recently brought a bunch of them in for workouts, according to Howard Balzer.
The most notable name among the tryouts is Joshua Garnett. The offensive guard was a first-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. He rode the bench for most of his time with the team and had a couple of injury-plagued years. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have shown a penchant for giving failed former first-round picks second chances, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they brought Garnett on.
Tre’ Crawford and Ray Smith have yet to play in regular-season games. Crawford was briefly with the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason as an undrafted free agent. Derrick Moncrief, Nick Usher and William Stanback all currently play in the Canadian Football League.
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Late Season Additions Who Could Make the 2020 Raiders
The Raiders have been pretty active in free agency all season. While D.J. Swearinger, Preston Brown and Terrell McClain were recently let go, there are still a number of players who have been able to stick around. Dion Jordan is one player who could be back for the team when they head to Las Vegas. The defensive lineman hasn’t blown up the stat sheet since arriving, but he does have two sacks in five games. Considering he’s an athletic marvel, he should only get better once he becomes more familiar with the system.
Linebacker Will Compton is another name who could be returning. The veteran linebacker has already found a spot in the starting lineup. The Raiders have struggled at linebacker all season but keeping a veteran like Compton around could help with the young defense.
The Raiders are already one of the youngest teams in the NFL and that figures to stay the same in 2020. Oakland’s hot start to the season makes the last four losses feel a lot worse. In actuality, this team wasn’t ready for a playoff run. They looked like they were ahead of schedule on the rebuild, but young teams are going to make mistakes and the Raiders have made plenty.
It wasn’t long ago that people were saying the team’s 2019 NFL Draft class was the best in recent memory. That still remains true amid the recent struggles. Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow and Foster Moreau have all been injured. Maxx Crosby is still a stud and Clelin Ferrell is getting better every week. Trayvon Mullen looks like he’s going to be a starting cornerback for a long time. With another exciting draft class likely coming in 2020, the Raiders should be littered with starters under the age of 25. The youth movement is real in Oakland and soon-to-be Las Vegas. The future is certainly bright for this squad.