If you go by where the Raiders landed in the draft, they were one of the five worst teams in the league last season. Most Raiders fans feel like they vastly improved that roster this offseason with additions such as Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams, and Lamarcus Joyner among others.
Pro Football Focus (via ESPN Insider) doesn’t see a noticeable difference when compared to the rest of the league. They put the Raiders at number 28, or in other words, the fifth worst roster in the NFL.
28. Oakland Raiders
Biggest strength: Since 2010, no wideout has recorded more receptions (837), yards (11,207), yards after catch (4,076), touchdowns (74) or first-down receptions (471) than Antonio Brown -- and his 2.45 yards per route run over that span is second only to Julio Jones. He immediately improves the receiving group in a significant way.
Biggest weakness: The Raiders’ roster still has many question marks, but no position group needs more work than the linebackers. Vontaze Burfict (47.9 overall grade in 2018), Brandon Marshall (64.2) and Tahir Whitehead (56.3) are slated to see the bulk of the snaps. That doesn’t bode well for the team in terms of pass coverage, as all three allowed a passer rating of at least 95.0 into their coverage last season, and their combined performance yielded a passer rating of 130.2.
X factor for 2019: The Raiders once seemed set at quarterback with Derek Carr, but it’s becoming apparent that his time as Oakland’s signal-caller is running out. Among the 32 quarterbacks with at least 250 attempts under pressure over the past three seasons, Carr’s 56.1 passer rating in those spots ranks 28th. But after three years of charting the ball placement of every throw, the top-three single-season deep-passing accuracy rates belong to Russell Wilson in 2016 (55.6%), Carr in 2018 (52.3) and Carr in 2016 (51.1). Now that he’s armed with Brown and deep threat Tyrell Williams, Carr might have the tools he needs to put forth an impressive season.
It’s important to note that along with the Raiders key additions, they also have key losses. Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook and former All Pro guard Kelechi Osemele chief among them. Those losses turned previous strengths into weaknesses. And as PFF notes, the linebacking corps is still quite suspect.
As for the AFC West, it stacks up this way: