It’s always been difficult to determine who the Las Vegas Raiders’ three best players are, but for different reasons.
For the majority of the 2000s and 2010s, it was hard to find a trio that was truly worth that distinction. However, there’s been a lot more competition at the top in more recent years, and the list has been more respectable. And the top three heading into this season are the best they’ve been in a long time.
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey recently named each team’s three best players and listed starting quarterback Derek Carr, recently acquired wide receiver Davante Adams and Pro Bowl edge defender Maxx Crosby for the Silver and Black.
Adams will once again be catching passes from Carr, who will attempt to recreate the same magic that Aaron Rodgers and Adams had over the last few seasons. This offense desperately needed a player who could win consistently on the outside. Carr ranked first in PFF passing grade on throws between the numbers in 2021 compared to 22nd on throws outside the numbers.
Crosby had his full-fledged breakout in 2021. Following two consecutive seasons with sub-70.0 PFF pass-rushing to begin his career, Crosby earned a 91.9 pass-rushing grade in 2021 to go along with a league-high 101 pressures.
It’s hard to argue too much with Linsey’s Top 3, though some may want to swap out Carr or Crosby for Waller. However, excluding Hunter Renfrow from the “also considered” and conceivably the Raiders’ Top 6 could raise some eyebrows. Many would likely put the slot receiver ahead of Jones or Miller, though it certainly could be up for debate.
That being said, it’s pretty cool to see Miller get some recognition. He often gets left out of a lot of the “best of” conversations, despite finishing 2022 as PFF’s fifth-highest graded tackle (85.0 overall).
Regardless, having too many top-tier players is a pretty good problem to have.
In other Raiders’ Links:
- OTAs, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Leatherwood: get caught up on all of this week’s news surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders on the most recent episode of Holder’s Handful.
- Dylan Parham taking reps at center: Josh McDaniels is stressing that the team’s offensive linemen will need to learn how to play multiple spots.
- Accountability during OTAs: McDaniels is setting a tone, talking about how he can be better and holding the players to a high standard, writes our Marcus Johnson.
- No deal yet for Kaep: the quarterback’s workout with the Raiders reportedly went well, but no contract is expected to be signed anytime soon, per Jeremey Fowler of ESPN.