Pro Football Focus has released their annual ranking of the best position groups in the NFL, covering which team has the top position group along two runner-ups. Surprisingly, the Raiders were left completely off the list.
The two position groups that could be deserving of a top-three selection are the Raiders offensive line and edge rushers.
After a stellar 2016 season in which Oakland boasted arguably the most dominant offensive line in the NFL, the group is coming off a slightly disappointing season. But even in a down year, the unit still ranked in the top-ten of the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.
Led by center Rodney Hudson who was named as PFF’s best pass-blocker, the Raiders “Carr Insurance” allowed just 133 total pressures on the season. The interior-three featuring Hudson, Kelechi Osemele, and Gabe Jackson is among the best in the NFL. But Donald Penn’s health concerns and uncertainty at right tackle likely dropped this group out of the top-three.
The Eagles had the best offensive line in 2017, and it should be strong again in 2018 with the return of Jason Peters at left tackle. The unit surrendered just 154 total pressures, the eighth best in the game. The Cowboys aren’t far removed from again having the league’s best offensive line. Paul Alexander is the new offensive line coach, and they added second-round draft pick Connor Williams, who allowed just one sack in his college career. Tennessee’s offensive line took a step back in 2017 but was the best in the league the season before. Jack Conklin backed up his impressive rookie year with an overall PFF grade of 81.8 in Year 2.
As for edge rusher, Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin give the Silver & Black one of the most formidable duos in the league. Their production has been particularly impressive considering the lack of help from the interior defensive line. But despite combining for 37.5 sacks and and 16 forced fumbles in the past two seasons, the pair of pass rushers do not make the PFF cut.
Defenders who dominated against the run and the pass in 2017! pic.twitter.com/0Oo0aYmcwj— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 21, 2018
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are the game’s most potent pass-rushing duo, ranking seventh and sixth in overall PFF grade with respective scores of 91.7 and 91.9 last season. Any unit with Von Miller will always be among the league’s best. He notched 83 total pressures in 2017. The Broncos also drafted Bradley Chubb, who had PFF pass-rush and run-defense grades above 85.0 in his final college season. Calais Campbell moved to more of an edge rusher in Jacksonville and was a true force outside, where he registered 73 total pressures and the fourth-best overall PFF grade among edge defenders (89.5).
Should any of the Raiders position groups had made the Pro Football Focus list? You tell us.
Which Raiders position group do you think should be among the top-three in the NFL?
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