The Raiders are getting some love these days. Having a 6-2 record will do that. It’s also the midseason mark for the NFL season (at least for some teams) which means checking in on how everyone is doing.
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling came out with his Midseason All Pro team and it had a couple of Raiders players on it. If you were to guess who those players were, more than likely you would say perhaps Khalil Mack or Amari Cooper or even Derek Carr.
Carr and Cooper were among those players Wesseling had ‘in the hunt’ but who didn’t make the team. As was Michael Crabtree.
Mack was nowhere to be found at either defensive end or outside linebacker after being named an All Pro at both positions last season. He wasn’t even ‘in the hunt’ even though he has more sacks (5.0) this season after 8 games than he did at this point last season (4.0) and four of those sacks have come over the past three games.
But enough about who wasn’t on this unofficial one man’s list. There were a couple players who were.
Guard Kelechi Osemele
Osemele has been well worth his mega contract, mauling interior defensive linemen in the ground attack and even stepping in on Derek Carr's blind side in a pinch. The Raiders' stalwart offensive line stands out as exceptional in an era that has seen blocking drop off precipitously.
As Wesseling noted, Osemele has been probably the best of an overall very good Raiders offensive line this season. While his performances this season have been uneven, I can’t argue with the logic behind his selection.
Punter Marquette King
King's booming right leg earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for averaging 54.6 yards per kick at Jacksonville in Week 7, but his left leg garnered just as much attention on a lightning-fast 27-yard scamper to convert a first down after a bad snap. Per Next Gen Stats, King reached 21.35 mph, the second-fastest speed of any Raiders player that week.
For all of that pizazz, it wasn't even King's most impressive performance of the season. Back in Week 4, he averaged 51.8 yards on eight punts, four of which were pinned inside the 20-yard line during the Raiders' 28-27 nail-biter of a win over the Ravens.
King is absolutely deserving of this. He has been the best punter in the league this season after making a strong case for a Pro Bowl nod last season.