Ranking the top 25 players on Raiders roster: 1-5

·3 min read

It’s all come down to this. After counting down from 25, we have now reached the top five players on the Raiders roster.

5. RB Josh Jacobs

Though Jacobs made the Pro Bowl last season, he actually took a bit of a step back from the level of player he looked as a rookie. In 13 games, he had 1150 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Last season he had 1060 yards in 15 games, averaging nearly a full yard per carry less (3.9). Though he did see his touchdown numbers jump from seven as a rookie to 12 last season. He also saw his touches in the passing game increase, making for a better all-around season. He is considered a top ten back in the NFL right now.

4. LT Kolton Miller

His third season in the NFL, showed Miller had matured into one of the more solid left tackles in the league. It earned him an extension, making him the first-round one pick to get a second contract since Darren McFadden. His value to this team is considerable, especially with the overhaul the team did along the offensive line this offseason.

3. DE Yannick Ngakoue

A bit of a journeyman, Ngakoue is on his fourth NFL team in one calendar year. Which is pretty surprising for a guy who averages over nine sacks a season and has never had fewer than eight sacks. Those kinds of numbers are certainly welcome on the Raiders.

There is still the lingering question as to why he was never a difference-maker on the other three teams who employed him and why all three were willing to part with him. If it’s merely that he’s a situational pass rusher, that could be enough for the Raiders

2. DE Maxx Crosby

He’s no Khalil Mack to be certain, so let’s not get it twisted. But Crosby has been a Godsend over his two years in Silver & Black. Since the Raiders stole him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, he’s been their best defender, and it’s not really close. Though that may say more about the overall issues in the Raiders defense the past couple of seasons than anything. Including, and perhaps especially, top pick draft classmate Clelin Ferrell.

Crosby burst out the games to put up ten sacks as a rookie and followed that up with a seven-sack season last year. He also has 27 QB hits and is a pretty good run defender as well.

1. TE Darren Waller

If this were like a grading scale as opposed to a ranking, the gap between Waller and the rest of this roster would be a lot more than one spot. Waller is on another level. If not for the existence of Travis Kelce, Waller would have been a first-team All-Pro this past season with zero doubt. He is a certified game-changer for this team.

The past two seasons he easily led the team in receiving, compiling 197 catches for 2341 yards. In 2020, he set franchise records with 107 catches. That is not only the most catches for a tight end in Raiders history, it’s the most PERIOD. Surpassing Tim Brown’s record of 104 catches in a season. The most no-brainer best player ranking I can imagine.

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