Raiders News NFL: Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn still hasn't reported to camp yet.



Oakland Raiders 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/7/2017.


Oakland Raiders Free Agency Recap


Jared Cook Jr. was probably their biggest Free Agent singing. Oakland also brought in Cordarrelle Patterson for depth to replace Andre Holmes and also traded for Marshawn Lynch at running back. Jelani Jenkins is a good 4-3 right outside linebacker when healthy. This team may only need one linebacker upgrade in the middle.



Oakland Raiders Draft Recap


The Raiders got cornerback Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu to boost the secondary at cornerback and free safety. They also have some other areas and issues as well. David Sharpe a fourth round pick out of Florida is getting first team reps at left tackle and Marquel Lee a middle linebacker out of Wake Forest drafted in the sixth round is getting first team reps at middle linebacker even though I see a two-down middle linebacker.




Oakland Raiders Quarterback Summary: Derek Carr has been a remarkable quarterback for Oakland. There is a reason he got extended. It doesn't matter who his offensive coordinator is he's that good. Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing got promoted to offensive coordinator for the Raiders. Downing took over as the quarterbacks coach after Carr's rookie season. If he does well as an offensive coordinator he could be a future head coach. Jake Peetz is the new quarterbacks coach after being an assistant for Todd Downing last year. Connor Cook did terrible as a starter in the NFL Playoffs which is why the Raiders brought in E.J. Manuel to push him for the backup job.


Oakland Raiders Running Back Summary: Marshawn Lynch is going to be the feature running back in Oakland's offense. The Raiders' traded for Lynch a year after he unretired.


Running back coach Bernie Parmalee isn't a very good running back coach. He may need to be replaced if the Raiders running game struggles in 2017.


Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Summary: Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree continue to dominate. Seth Russell is a great slot receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson is projected to be a wide receiver depth..


Former NFL wide receiver Rob Moore did a terrific job in his first two seasons as the Oakland Raiders wide receivers coach. Expect Oakland's playmakers to do even more under Moore in 2017.


Oakland Raiders Tight End Summary: Jared Cook Jr. is the starting tight end. Clive Walford compliments him as a #2 tight end.


Oakland Raiders Offensive Line Summary: Oakland has one of the leagues strongest offensive lines. The Raiders have Donald Penn at left tackle, Kelechi Osmele at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center, Gabe Jackson at right guard, and Marshall Newhouse at right tackle. Penn wants a new deal and hasn't shown up to Raiders camp yet. Also Newhouse sucks. David Sharpe the 2017 fourth round pick out of Florida is getting first team reps and should be getting first team reps over the mediocre Newhouse. Carr will have a big year, but he won't get as much time in the pocket as he had last year.


Mike Tice is the Raiders offensive line coach. I think Tice will put a huge emphasis on pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking in Oakland. The interior offensive line is the strength of this unit.


The Raiders were 7th in points per game, 6th in total yards, 16th in passing yards, and 6th in rushing yards in 2016. Oakland has a complete offense outside of their offensive tackle position.



Oakland Raiders Defensive Line Summary: Khalil Mack is one of the leagues best 4-3 right ends along with Mario Edwards Jr. finally healthy at 4-3 left end. Justin Ellis is the starting 4-3 defensive tackle with Darius Latham and Eddie Vanderdoes, a 2017 third round pick out of UCLA pushing each other for a starting spot next to Latham. Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun some day 2 picks from the 2016 NFL Draft are good depth players on this defensive line as well. Jethro Franklin is a good defensive line coach.


Oakland Raiders Linebacker Summary: Oakland brought in Jelani Jenkins to replace Malcolm Smith at 4-3 right outside linebacker. Jenkins is great in coverage when healthy and can be a tackling machine too.


Oakland has Ben Heeney, Cory James, and Marquel Lee competing for the middle linebacker job. Some reports have Heeney as the starter others have James. Some think Lee could start as a rookie out of Wake Forest. All three linebackers are two-down linebackers in my mind.


Oakland has Bruce Irvin at left outside linebacker. Having Jelani Jenkins and Bruce Irvin at outside linebacker helps.


Head Coach Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., and linebacker coach Sal Sunseri all have experience developing linebackers. Oakland's coaches need to do a better job developing these linebackers since that's a strength.


Oakland Raiders Defensive Backs Summary: David Amerson is going to be the #1 field cornerback. The only question is what cornerback will play next to him. Right now T.J. Carrie is the favorite to win that job. Right now undrafted cornerback Breon Borders who I had a fourth round grade on in the 2017 NFL Draft coming out of Duke is the nickel cornerback. Gareon Conley is on the PUP list. Sean Smith is listed as the quarter cornerback. You also got Karl Joseph at strong safety and Reggie Nelson at free safety with Obi Melifonwu as a safety to groom behind Reggie Nelson.


Marcus Robertson is an awesome defensive backs coach he's on Denver now. Rod Woodson who was an assistant defensive backs coach takes over for Robertson.


The Raiders defense was a mess in 2016. Oakland was 32nd in sacks, 20th in points allowed, 26th in total yards allowed, 24th in pass defense, and 23rd in run defense. Oakland needs to do much better defensively in 2017 if they want to make the 2018 NFL Playoffs with all the holes they have on defense.



Oakland Raiders Special Teams Summary: Sebastian Janikowski is still a top 15 kicker. Marquette King stepped up for Shane Lechler at punter. The Raiders have Taiwan Jones at kick returner and T.J. Carrie at punt returner. Brad Seely is a good special teams coordinator. Oakland improved quite a bit with Seely as their special teams coordinator.




Oakland Raiders Worst Case Scenario: The Oakland Raiders go 8-8. They miss the 2018 NFL Playoffs as a result.


Oakland Raiders Best Case Scenario: Oakland goes 12-4 winning the AFC West and getting a first round bye. The defense plays better than people expect allowing Oakland to advance to the 2018 AFC Championship game.


Oakland Raiders 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 2
September 17
VS
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 3
September 24
AT
8:30 PM EST
NBC
L
Week 4
October 1
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 8
VS
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 6
October 15
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 7
October 19
VS
8:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 8
October 29
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 9
November 5
AT
8:30 PM EST
NBC
L
Week 10
Bye Week
Week 11
November 19
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 26
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 3
VS
4:25 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 14
December 10
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 15
December 17
VS
8:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 16
December 25
AT
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
L
Week 17
December 31
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W


Oakland Raiders 2017 Projected Record (9-7): Oakland ends the year 9-7 due to some uncertainties at offensive tackle until Donald Penn reports, linebacker, and finding that #2 cornerback next to David Amerson. I have Oakland getting the final wild card in the AFC.


My AFC wild card games will feature the Oakland Raiders heading to Indianapolis to face the Colts with the 6 seed Raiders facing the 3 seed Colts and then the 5 seed Titans heading to Kansas City to face the 4 seed Chiefs. I haven't decided who I like in the Titans VS Chiefs game yet, but I like the Colts to win against the Raiders in their wild card game.









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