Projections are fun. Especially when the season is still over five months away and we don’t even know who the team will add in the draft. Even with so many unknowns, ESPN’s Mike Clay went about making his early projections for the numbers the Raiders will have.
Here are the notable stat projections:
Derek Carr - 4032 yards passing, 22 TD’s, 13 INT’s
Marshawn Lynch - 942 yards rushing, 7 TD’s
Amari Cooper - 999 yards receiving, 5 TD’s
Jordy Nelson - 880 yards receiving, 6 TD’s
Jared Cook - 672 yards receiving, 4 TD’s
Notes: He has Carr surpassing the 4K mark for the first time in his career. Clay didn’t do much work on Lynch’s numbers. He simply gave Lynch a shade under what he would have had last season (950) based on his per game average (59.4) had he not missed a game to suspension. He has Coop falling one yard shy of 1000 and Nelson well surpassing the over/under oddsmakers gave him (700) for this season and as the team’s top red zone target.
Tahir Whitehead - 118 tackles, 9 TFL
Khalil Mack - 10.0 sacks, 19 TFL
Bruce Irvin - 6.0 sacks, 14 TFL
Mario Edwards Jr - 2.0 sacks
Gareon Conley - 2 INT. 12 PD
Rashaan Melvin - 2 INT, 15 PD
Karl Joseph - 96 tackles, 1 INT
Notes: Clearly he sees Tahir Whitehead as the team’s middle linebacker, which could be the case if they don’t bring back NaVorro Bowman. If Edwards has just 2.0 sacks and plays only about 60% of the snaps as Clay projects, it’s no wonder Mack and Irvin’s sacks would go down. Though I don’t see the team relying solely on Edwards for their inside pressure needs.
Clay apparently thinks 2017 needs a record projection and doesn’t feel like he can project 2018 yet even though we know all the opponents home and away. That’s the only explanation I can come up with as to why they have the 2017 schedule there. I mean, outside of it being a glaring oversight.