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And just like that, Raiders have three rookie starters

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Thearon W. Henderson

As of last week, it was looking like fifth overall pick Khalil Mack would be the only rookie starter for the Raiders. Now in one day, Dennis Allen has added the team's second and third round draft choices to the list of starters heading into the season.

The big news is, of course, Derek Carr being named the starting quarterback. But one that shouldn't be lost in the shuffle is Gabe Jackson getting the start at left guard.

Jackson's getting the start is not necessarily good news, though. The primary reason for his getting the start is the struggles of the team's 2013 second round pick, Menelik Watson.

Watson has not fared well this preseason at right tackle and then suffered a hip injury. This had the team move Khalif Barnes from his spot as starting left guard, back to right tackle where he was once the fulltime starter.

Then that lineup started last Thursday and performed very well, and greatly contributed to Derek Carr's performance in the game as well.

This is not to discount the job that Jackson has done. As I said, the starting unit with him at left guard and Barnes at right tackle performed very well. The top three picks are starting but

But while it speaks very highly of this year's top three draft picks, it doesn't speak well for their draft last year which yielded two top picks who have fought off injuries and acclimating to the pro game. That would be 12 overall pick, D.J. Hayden - who is on the PUP list - and Watson - who was injured most of last season.

This year's top picks look to change that.