When he tore down the Raiders’ roster in 2018, it was clear that Jon Gruden was going to base his 10-year era with the team around young players.
Thanks to big trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, the Raiders had a total of five first-round picks in 2018 and 2019 combined. These players — namely defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs, safety Johnathan Abram, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and cornerback Damon Arnette — are going to make up the foundation of the Raiders’ future in Las Vegas.
The team feels strongly about this group, along with several other young players including second-year players, cornerback Trayvon Mullen, defensive end Maxx Crosby, tight end Foster Moreau and receiver Hunter Renfrow — plus the entire 2020 draft class and 2018 first-round pick, left tackle Kolton Miller. It’s a strong core for sure.
However, ESPN is not overly impressed. It ranked every NFL team by their under-25 talent and the Raiders ranked No. 16. So, in this ranking they are right in the middle of the NFL when it comes to young talent.
I think that may be a little low, but, there’s no doubting there is a lot of young talent in the NFL. In 2020, the Raiders have a chance to change that narrative as all of these youngsters have a chance to show they can be a group that makes the Raiders a perennial playoff contender in the next decade.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Our condolences: Raiders’ rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. announced a family member has died from the coronavirus.
- Experienced offense: The AP points out the Raiders have the most returning offensive snaps in 2020.
- Camp battles: The Athletic has a look at training camp battles.
- No receiver love: No Raiders made PFF’s top 25 list.
- Greatness by numbers: Did any Raiders’ make CBS Sports’ all number team?