The Raiders have been rather disappointing for quite some time, but now it appears that they finally have some young pieces to keep and build.
Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack had a stellar season, racking up 75 tackles and four sacks. He has been strong against the run all season, and despite not having the sacks to prove it, he applied pressure against the quarterback consistently all season.
On the offensive side, the Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr showed signs that he can be the franchise quarterback that the team has been looking for since the departure of Rich Gannon. The 23-year-old quarterback finished the season completing 58 percent of his passes for 3,270 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Rookie cornerback TJ Carrie also was thrown into the starting position due to injuries and showed promise all season. He finished the season with 47 tackles, one interception and eight passes defensed.
Also a rookie, offensive lineman Gabe Jackson has also proved that he can be a strong piece of the offensive line for years to come. The rookie guard started the season as the starting left tackle and showed he can be a bruiser and provide protection on the Raiders offensive line for many years.
The team has many young pieces that they can build around, which hasn’t been the case for awhile. I know it may be hard to see after a 3-13 season, but things are looking up for the Raiders.