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Silver Minings: ESPN ranks Raiders roster 21st in NFL

Do the Raiders have a bottom half roster?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders are going into the 2023 season with lowered expectations than the previous year. There is no hype train as we get closer to training camp and preseason games.

With that said, the Raiders have premier talent on the roster. Maxx Crosby, Davante Adams, and Josh Jacobs are all top-five at their position. If those three can stay healthy and produce, the team could surprise.

ESPN took a look at all the rosters in the NFL. When analyzing the Raiders' roster, they ranked 21st in the NFL. The edge position was quoted as the strength of the team.

Edge rusher. Maxx Crosby (37.5 sacks during his first four seasons) has emerged as one of the league’s best pass-rushers. Chandler Jones, 33, wasn’t quite as dominant as usual in 2022, but he’s still a difference-maker. Even if Jones takes another step back, waiting in the wings is first-round rookie Tyree Wilson.

The weakness is unsurprising, as they named the rest of the defense a problem for the Raiders.

The rest of the defense. The Raiders finished 30th in defensive EPA last season (last against the pass), and it’s possible the unit may be worse in 2023. Bilal Nichols and Jerry Tillery return as defensive tackles, Divine Deablo and Robert Spillane are the top linebackers, cornerback is loaded with journeymen backups behind Nate Hobbs, and safety at least has some potential in the form of Tre’von Moehrig and Eagles’ 2022 snap leader Marcus Epps.

The games have not started, and these preseason rankings are always wrong. When the teams touch the field, we will discover who is real and who is a pretender.

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