Overall the 2019 draft was viewed as a success, high end talent was brought in to fills holes throughout the roster. There was a total on nine selections made and 10 undrafted free agents were added.
Last years draft class had several players earn starting jobs out of training camp and at some point during the season eight of the nine rookies started games. (With the exception of Azeem Victor who was cut.)
That stat could have something to do with the teams struggles but it’s very possible that some of the additions from the 2019 class will be counted on heavily.
The three obvious names expected to step right in and start are the team’s three first round picks. Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, and Johnathan Abram who were all first round picks should have little trouble finding a role in the starting lineup come September.
The number four overall pick will lead a revamped group of defensive ends that includes Benson Mayowa, Josh Mauro, Arden Key, and fellow rookies Maxx Crosby and Quinten Bell.
Ferrell fits the mold of what Guenther looks for in his defensive ends. He has the ability to set the edge and rush the passer. The addition of Ferrell could push second year end, Arden Key into more of a situational pass rusher role which was the originally plan last season.
With the retirement of Marshawn Lynch and injury to Isaiah Crowell, Josh Jacobs has a clear path to the starting job at running back. Doug Martin was recently brought back and he did look good in relief of Lynch last year but the job is Jacobs to lose. Jacobs may not have the break away speed you look for in an elite running back but he checks off every other box.
The third and final first round pick from the 2019 class, Abram is a hard hitting, tone-setter that the Raiders thought they were getting in Karl Joseph. And while Joseph has shown glimpses of being that guy, Abrams should challenge Joseph for the starting job alongside LaMarcus Joyner at safety.
Depending on quickly Abram picks up the scheme could determine who wins the starting job. It’s also very likely both Abrams and Joseph are essentially starters with Joyner in the nickel do to the high volume of passing.
Right now he is probably listed at the bottom of the depth chart but I think that will change.
When you look at the names ahead of him there is no sure bet. Jon Gruden spoke recently about giving Darren Waller an opportunity of a lifetime and while he is intriguing from a measurable standpoint, he has made only four career starts.
Luke Wilson is a younger Lee Smith, Derek Carrier doesn’t have the blocking ability of Moreau, and Paul Butler looks like he has put in some serious hours in the weight room from a recent photo but are we really thinking he could start?
Moreau may not possess Waller’s speed and athleticism but as Mike Mayock said, “we think he is a bit better athletically than most people think.” Also important to note that even with Jared Cook appearing in every game last season and starting 14, Lee Smith started four games as a blocking tight end, so Moreau could as well.
Renfrow just seems like the perfect Jon Gruden player. Undersized and not real athletic but a grinder who has a knack for making plays. Slot receiver is one to keep an eye on throughout the summer with Ryan Grant and JJ Nelson looking to hold off the young Clemson product.
If I was a betting man I would put my money on at least three starters from the 2019 class with as many as six.