Top 5 Raiders Poised To Bounce Back In 2018

Did anyone on the Raiders roster have a better than expected season last year?

Khalil Mack and Rodney Hudson maybe, but that’s about it. Eh, maybe Bruce Irvin deserves a shout for the show he put on in the second half the season, but the list ends there.

The entire roster left plenty of room for improvement, but these are my top 5 Raiders to bounce back in a big way in 2018:

5 – Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington. Mark it down. One of these young bucks is going to blow up as pass-catching runner under Jon Gruden. Which one is it going to be?

Right now, I’d lean Richard.

4 – Mario Edwards Jr. is one of the more talented players on the Raiders roster, but continues to not put it all together.

He didn’t always play hard in college. Maybe that hasn’t been his problem in the pros, but entering a contract year, this should be the year the football universe sees the best of MEJ.

3 – Last year, it took all the restraint I could muster up to not draft Amari Cooper in my fantasy football league. Crabtree was the receiver I thought would have the better season (which never happened) because something about Cooper’s play just seems like it stays turned off more than it’s turned on.

Sometime about a week before the season started, I let Vic Tafur convince me Cooper would get it together, but ‘Coop’ had already missed his opportunity at my fantasy team. Thankfully.

This year, with Jon Gruden and Jordy Nelson in the mix, I think Cooper has the right people around him to turn him into a full-time superstar.

Oh, and it’s a contract year for him, too.

2 – The Raiders started Derek Carr‘s rookie season 0-10, but I’ve never seen his demeanor as down in the dumps as it was last year. He had a lot working against him in 2017, but with Jon Gruden and a few new receivers in town, Carr is primed and ready to flourish again.

Just keep the man healthy. He’s going to be an MVP candidate again sooner than later.

1 – Gareon Conley was injured essentially all of the last year, but in the limited time he was on the field, he looked the part. There is more enthusiasm for Conley in the Raiders building than is being reported and I think he’s going to make a name for himself quickly.

Don’t know if Conley actually has an online fan club, but if he’s looking for one, he has one here until further notice.

I think he’s going to be dynamite in 2018.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Top 5 Raiders Poised To Bounce Back In 2018

  1. The Raiders as a whole had a lot working against them in 2017 . What was it ? Jack Del Rio , Ken Norron Jr and a guy named Todd Downing . Oh , and injuries too . You gotta like their odds to bounce back as a team this year .

  2. I think I am more excited about Conley’s potential this season than any other Raider defender. Well maybe Hurst is close. The little we saw of him last season gave us a glory nose of how good a cover corner he is as he was the best DB on the field. And he wasn’t a 100%! Can’t wait to see a healthy Conley after a full preseason become the shutdown corner he is capable of being.

  3. I will believe it when I see it on Conley and Obi. Those guys played less than 150 snaps last year and have a lot to prove. I am a huge Raiders fan and I believe Hurst, Hall, and Key will play a huge role on a much improved D. I am hoping Donald Penn comes back, I do not believe Miller or Parker will be ready to go by opening day, I think those guys are developmental players. I am not saying it is a bad thing to draft those guys, I just think they should sit for a year and work on development before they get thrown out there. If Miller or Parker have to play, Carr and the Raiders offense will have huge problems. Most of the time I am very optimistic on the Raiders, but I still do not believe they addressed the middle linebacker position well enough. I am not thinking that the MLB they picked up from KC is going to last the entire season at middle linebacker at age 35. I think the Raiders D-line will be very, very good and will mask some of the deficiencies in the linebackers. No matter what, the Raiders always make it interesting and fun to watch.

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