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NFL Network predicts 9 new starters for Raiders in 2018, could it be more?

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NFL: Oakland Raiders Rookie Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing six-win season in 2017, the Oakland Raiders have reconstructed their organization. Mark Davis said goodbye to the first coach to reach the postseason in over a decade, Jack Del Rio, and brought in his dream candidate Jon Gruden.

Rightfully so, Gruden has altered the personnel in Oakland as Michael Crabtree, Marquette King, Sebastian Janikowski, Sean Smith and David Amerson will not be donning the Silver and Black next season.

As such, the NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal predicts that the Raiders will have nine new starters this fall: Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Kolton Miller, Maurice Hurst, Tahir Whitehead, Derrick Johnson, Rashaan Melvin, Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley.

The number could easily grow depending on Donald Penn’s health coming off foot surgery. It also isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that Oakland lets Penn go at some point considering his nearly $8.4 million cap hit. The Raiders would save almost $5.4 million by releasing him.

If Gruden does cut Penn, then Miller would have to slide over to the left side and a new starter, likely Breno Giacomini or Brandon Parker, would take over at right tackle. And there have been speculation surrounding Karl Joseph’s future starting at safety.

In regards to Rosenthal’s nine new starters, there isn’t much to contend with aside from Worley. There is no arguing against his ability on the field, 34 games in his first two NFL seasons, to assume a starting position in the secondary. But there has to be a reason he is on his third team in just two years.

Gruden has shown to favor veteran players. With Leon Hall and Shareece Wright on the roster, Gruden could easily give them the nod if Worley doesn’t pan out. While Worley has the talent and probably should win a starting job, it is far from a guarantee as the NFL could suspend him for his recent off-the-field incidents.

With the question marks surrounding Penn, Joseph and Worley, it is possible that there could be as many as 11 new starters in Oakland come the season opener.


Over/Under 9.5 new starters in 2018

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (2861 votes)
  • 35%
    (1557 votes)
4418 votes total Vote Now