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Oakland Raiders 2019 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/3/2019.


Oakland Raiders Free Agency Recap


Oakland loaded up at wide receiver like a slot machine in Las Vegas. They got Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and J.J. Nelson in either trades or Free Agency. Derek Carr has an abundance of weapons and that is why the Oakland Raiders will be able to hang with teams. Oakland also added Ritchie Incognito at left guard, Trent Brown at right tackle, Vontaze Burfict to be a 4-3 right outside linebacker, and lured Brandon Marshall away from the Denver Broncos to be the 4-3 middle linebacker. Free safety LaMarcus Joyner left the Los Angeles Rams to sign with the Oakland Raiders. Oakland hauled 8 starters to fill out 22 positions on their starting depth chart leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.



Oakland Raiders Draft Recap


The Raiders got four starters in the 2019 NFL Draft. Right end Clellin Ferrell gives Oakland someone who can pressure left tackles off the edge. Strong safety Jonathan Abram is projected to win the starting strong safety job despite inconsistent coverage outside of his zone coverage. Running back Josh Jacobs is projected to start right away at running back. Trayvon Mullen, Oakland's 2019 second round pick out of Clemson is a nickel cornerback pushing Nick Nelson for that starting cornerback role in the boundary across from Gareon Conley. Hunter Renfrow the third Clemson player that Oakland drafted, is pushing for a slot receiver job.




Oakland Raiders Quarterback Summary: Derek Carr has been a great quarterback for Oakland. He had a down year in 2018. I'd argue that was due to Oakland trading away so many key players like Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack.


Greg Olson is now the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders after previously being the quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Rams. Olson worked with Carr during Carr's rookie season. Olson is now the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach after Oakland fired their quarterbacks coach.


Oakland Raiders Running Back Summary: Rookie Josh Jacobs is now the starting running back for the Oakland Raiders. `Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and Doug Martin will battle for backup spots behind Jacobs on the depth chart.


Running back coach Kirby Wilson is an upgrade over the last two running backs coaches Oakland had. Wilson may actually be able to get something out of Josh Jacobs.


Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Summary: Oakland has Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and J.J. Nelson. Oakland also has Hunter Renfrow. Carr has an abundance of weapons.


Jon Gruden coached wide receivers in Green Bay before becomming an offensive coordinator. Edgar Bennett was the running backs coach, wide receivers coach, and offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers before Gruden brought him to Oakland. Both coaches are back with the Oakland Raiders and I expect them to continue to dominate.


Oakland Raiders Tight End Summary: Oakland has a bunch of mediocre tight ends despite having depth at the position. Frank Smith transitioned from offensive line coach to tight ends coach hoping to have the tight ends in Oakland focus more on blocking to bolster the running game. With the abundance of weapons that Carr has, that's what I expect the Oakland Raiders to continue to do.


Oakland Raiders Offensive Line Summary: Oakland has one of the leagues strongest offensive lines. The Raiders have Kolton Miller at left tackle, Ritchie Incognito at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center, Gabe Jackson at right guard, and Trent Brown at right tackle. Why won't Oakland move Miller to right tackle? If Oakland finishes in last place again it means Miller is not meant to be an NFL left tackle.


Tom Cable retained his job as the offensive line coach. I cannot wait to watch the Cable Guy known as Tom gaslight Incognito on Hard Knocks this Summer.


The Raiders offense clicked in 2016. Then the Raiders traded Amari Cooper and had a setback season. Donald Penn got injured too. I expect Oakland's offense to be better thanks to Carr having more weapons. If the offense struggles it will be due to the offensive line rather then Derek Carr's quarterback play.



Oakland Raiders Defensive Line Summary: Oakland has Clellin Ferrell starting at 4-3 right end and Arden Key complimenting Ferrell as a 4-3 left end. Ferrell relies on his strength unlike Key relies on his speed so both edges compliment each other well. Maurice Hurst and Jonathan Hankins are the starting 4-3 defensive tackles for the Oakland Raiders. You also have players like Justin Ellis and P.J. Hall for depth at defensive tackle. Maxx Crosby gives Oakland that third edge rusher. Oakland has a young defensive line. At the same time this front four is one of the deepest groups Oakland has had in terms of depth.


Brentson Buckner is the Oakland Raiders defensive line coach. Buckner coached the defensive line with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. Buckner will have better players to work with on this Oakland Raiders group of defensive linemen.


Oakland Raiders Linebacker Summary: Oakland has a much stronger linebacker core as I mentioned in the Free Agency recap. However, I did say the same thing a year ago and turned out to be completely wrong about Tahir Whitehead and Derrick Johnson. Oakland cut Johnson in the midseason.


Having Vontaze Burfict at 4-3 right outside linebacker, Brandon Marshall at 4-3 middle linebacker, and Marquel Lee at 4-3 left outside linebacker gives Oakland a very lethal linebacking core if everyone stays healthy. Oakland is much thinner at linebacker when it comes to depth though. I feel like an outside linebacker will be a bigger priority then a middle linebacker assuming Marshall pans out.


Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is awesome at developing linebackers. He coached Burfict in Cincinnati and now gets to coach him again in Oakland.


Oakland Raiders Defensive Backs Summary: Gareon Conley is the field cornerback. Oakland has Nick Nelson and Trayvon Mullen pushing each other for the boundary cornerback job next to Conley. This is one big reason why Oakland will be much more effective defensively.


Oakland has Jonathan Abram at strong safety and Lamarcus Joyner at free safety. Karl Joseph will be used as a substitute safety for depth for the second year in a row. If Joseph somehow manages to beat out Abram for the strong safety job then Oakland will have a weakness on their secondary at safety that teams can exploit.


Derrick Ansley is the defensive backs coach. This was another coach that Gruden brought in for his regime with the Oakland Raiders.


Oakland has a very good linebacking core. I think the run defense could be a top 10 unit. They also have a stronger pass defense. At the same time, Oakland has nobody outside of Khalil Mack who can dominate off the edge.



Oakland Raiders Special Teams Summary: Daniel Carlsson is the new starting kicker. Johnny Townsend kept his job as the starting punter. The Raiders have Dwayne Harris as their return specialist.




Oakland Raiders Worst Case Scenario: The Oakland Raiders go 6-10 and struggle thanks to bone-headed coaching decisions that Jon Gruden made.


Oakland Raiders Best Case Scenario: Oakland goes 8-8. While Oakland got some quality starters in the NFL Draft, I'm not sure those starters will do enough to impress. Also Oakland added 12 starters in Free Agency and the draft so its hard for me to sit here and say they can't win 8 games. Also, the AFC West Division is a lot stronger so I don't see an immediate turnaround for the Oakland Raiders.


Oakland Raiders 2019 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 9
VS
10:20 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 2
September 15
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 3
September 22
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 4
September 29
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 5
October 6
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 6
Bye Week
Week 7
October 20
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 8
October 27
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 9
November 3
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 10
November 7
VS
8:20 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 11
November 17
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 24
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 1
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 14
December 8
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 15
December 15
VS
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 16
December 22
AT
4:05 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 17
December 30
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L


Oakland Raiders 2019 Projected Record (7-9): Oakland has a more promising squad then most experts would lead you to believe. At the same time the Raiders are in the NFL's toughest division in the AFC where you got three AFC West squads that appear really strong on papers despite the additions Oakland made.







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