Raiders slated to start three rookies

The announcement that the Raiders will start quarterback Derek Carr marks the third rookie that the team is expected to start in week one.

Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders front office targeted Carr from the beginning of the draft and have to be thrilled with getting him in the second round.

Carr won the starting job over veteran Matt Schaub much due to his 11/13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns performance against the Seahawks last week.

The Raiders drafted linebacker Khalil Mack fifth-overall with the intent of getting him on the field as soon as possible to give him an opportunity to make impact plays against the opposing offenses.

Mack has stepped in as the starting strongside linebacker and has shown flashes of becoming a key piece to the Raiders defense for years to come.

Meanwhile, third-round selection and offensive guard Gabe Jackson has had a productive training camp and preseason and now finds himself as the starting left guard to begin the season.

Jackson is a powerful blocker that can lead the way for the Raiders power-running attack that they hope to establish. Latavius Murray found a lot of his running room against the Seahaks to the left side behind his big left guard.

Having three rookie starters is a stark difference compared to last year when the team only had their third-round pick Sio Moore starting last year, at weakside linebacker. First round pick D.J. Hayden played in the slot before going on the injured reserve, and second round offensive tackle Menelik Watson fought injuries all season.

On top of that, seventh round rookie cornerback TJ Carrie looks to have taken control as the starting punt returner. Carrie has brought an explosive aspect to the return game, something the Raiders have lacked over the last couple of years.

McKenzie and Dennis Allen have preached competition from day one, and it looks like the rookies this year have seized the moment and been given the opportunity to contribute starting week one.

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