In a recent article by Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus, he named each team’s three most important players heading into 2023 season (yes, 2023) and beyond. He factored in position value, age and of course, contract.
Most teams have a pretty decent group of three players to build around, but the Raiders have one of the best trios in the NFL in Derek Carr, Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby.
Here is what Linsey had to say about that core going into the future:
“Adams will once again be catching passes from Carr, who will attempt to recreate the same magic that Aaron Rodgers and Adams had over the last few seasons. This offense desperately needed a player who could win consistently on the outside. Carr ranked first in PFF passing grade on throws between the numbers in 2021 compared to 22nd on throws outside the numbers.
Crosby had his full-fledged breakout in 2021. Following two consecutive seasons with sub-70.0 PFF pass-rushing to begin his career, Crosby earned a 91.9 pass-rushing grade in 2021 to go along with a league-high 101 pressures.”
All three of these players are elite and are in the primes of their careers. But what’s also encouraging is that you could have easily inserted Kolton Miller, Darren Waller and maybe even Hunter Renfrow into this list and they would have fit.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Raiders do have one of the best special teams units in the NFL with Daniel Carlson and A.J. Cole. While they obviously didn’t get mentioned here, those two players helped the Raiders win a bunch of games last season.
Over the next few years, the Raiders have to do a better job of surrounding Carr, Adams and Crosby with talent. The overall depth on the roster needs to improve and they could still use two or three more playmakers on defense.
But the top-tier players on the Raiders are as good as anyone’s else trio in the NFL. That should give Raiders’ fans a lot of hope as we go into the 2022 and 2023 seasons