Last season there wasn't a lot on this Raiders team that struck fear into their opponents. Recently NFL.com's Bucky Brooks put together the top ten scariest position groups cross the NFL, and not surprisingly, the Raiders didn't have a position which made the list. But which group would come closest to being even considered?
We can easily eliminate most positions like running backs (big questions), offensive line (that right side), defensive line (still don't know where the pass rush is coming from), and cornerbacks (young, unproven).
Wide receivers? This could be the deepest this group has been since Tim Brown and Jerry Rice headed them up. Though that may not be saying a lot. With Amari Cooper, Rod Streater, and Michael Crabtree they have three players who could start on any nearly any team in the NFL. But would they dominate? That remains to be seen.
Tight ends? With the addition of Clive Walford in the draft along with free agent Lee Smith joining incumbent starter Mychal Rivera, the position could be quite strong. But at this point, it's just potential.
Safeties? Charles Woodson is still performing at a high level. He is joined by free agent addition Nate Allen. This duo could prove to be pretty good this season. But, again, we just don't know. Woodson will eventually slow down (right?) and the team is taking a chance on Allen without knowing whether he will pan out.
Linebackers? Leading out with Khalil Mack is a great start. He's arguably the best player on this team right now on either side of the ball. Across from him is Sio Moore who has had his moments and certainly can strike fear into opponents with his relentless play. Adding Curtis Lofton and his 145 tackles last season helps solidify a unit that had a gaping hole in the middle with Miles Burris as the starter. Add Malcolm Smith as a free agent and Ben Heeney in the draft and they have depth as well.
It appears the answer is pretty clear. The Raiders linebackers are their scariest positon.
It isn't currently on the level of, say, the Panthers, who made number 10 on the NFL.com list. It's possible the Raiders linebackers could earn some recognition compared to other linebacking corps in Brooks' scariest position groups list. Not just when compared to other positions on their own team.