There are only three Raiders in ESPN's recently released Top 200 players rankings (it's an Insider piece). That a little light. I also think there are a couple of players on the verge of crashing this list. The three that made it are Richard Seymour, Darren McFadden and Michael Huff. I don't think I'd have put Huff on this list and I certainly wouldn't have put him ahead of Tommy Kelly or Stanford Routt.
Kelly is the biggest absence on this list. Kelly is coming off of a solid year. Solid enough that the Raiders own players voted him their defensive MVP. Routt should also be near the bottom of this list. He is a legit No. 1 corner, and just as a point of comparison, Marcus Trufant checks in on the bottom of this list, and there is no way I am swapping Routt for Trufant.
As for players that are close, I am throwing in Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy. Then not quite as close, but with the potential to get there I would list Jacoby Ford and Rolando McClain. Jump over for where the three Raiders placed ESPN's analysis and thoughts....
No. 41 Richard Seymour
Seymour has been a top-level defensive lineman for 10 years. He lines up at both defensive tackle and defensive end, making it difficult for offenses to game plan around him. He has prototypical dimensions for the position, and although he has lost a step over the years, he still can dominate the line of scrimmage with his combination of speed, athleticism and strength.
Can't argue with 41 for Seymour. His leadership makes him more valuable here, but a solid ranking.
No. 101 Darren McFadden
McFadden has all the measurables you'd want in a ball carrier: initial quickness, excellent acceleration through the hole and enough elusiveness to be effective in the open field.
McFadden is easily a top 100 player. As a back, he can do it all, and his big play ability should boost his standing. He was just one spot ahead of Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall is a fine back, but he is not in McFadden's league. If DMC stays healthy this year, he will prove to be at least a top 50 player.
No. 183 Michael Huff
Huff has struggled to live up to expectations. He is trusting his instincts, making quicker decisions, and letting his speed and athleticism take over.
I'm not buying Huff as a top 200 player. I hope he proves me wrong this season.