Recapping the 2015 season

With the Raiders season wrapping up a few weeks ago let’s recap the year starting with our 2015 draft class.

Amari Cooper

A dynamic young wide receiver with elite route running and production after the catch. Needs to focus more on making the catch, something I feel will come with time. Projects as a true number 1 receiver for years to come.

Mario Edwards

Did what was expected of him against the run, consistently setting the edge. In my opinion showed skill as a pass rusher as well, something that was a concern during the draft process, should develop further next season barring any setbacks with the neck injury.

Clive Walford

After an ugly preseason and training camp, struggling with injuries and inconsistency, Walford turned it on for the last half of the season and could develop into a top tier TE in the years to come.

Jon Feliciano

The starts he made at the end of the season gave us a brief glimpse at Feliciano. He was impressive at times but outmatched other times. Could develop into a starter but I see him more as a backup/rotational lineman.

Ben Heeney

A player I really liked in our draft class for his intensity and heart. Showed a high level of awareness, made a lot of plays. One thing that is obvious is his lack of athleticism, which he makes up for with effort and awareness. Solid rotational player that adds depth.

Neiron Ball

Did a good job in the limited time we had him on the field. Durability issues were a concern coming into the season and unfortunately he did injure the knee which he had surgery on previously. Good in coverage and against the run. Potential starter depending on health, more likely to be rotational player.

The rest of the Raiders draft class, Valles, Morris, Debose, and McDonald didn’t see the field so no need for any dialogue.

From our draft class we continue on to impact free agents we signed. Yes I’m aware Smith and Amerson were signings based off of cuts made by teams. In my opinion the free agent class we brought in was outstanding with a few disappointments. Let’s start with the bad and work our way up.

Curtis Lofton

Looking slow and out of position frequently, the defense looked much better with Heeney and Ball replacing him.

Nate Allen

Was good when on the field but unfortunately was limited due to a nagging knee injury following a torn MCL would like to see him return next year and continue to develop.

Malcolm Smith

Played much better than I had anticipated which was very welcomed. Struggled in pass coverage but was excellent against the run. Made a lot of tackles was rarely out of position. Could be a starter for the next few years, a a valuable player regardless.

Aldon Smith

A signing I was very excited about. Looking back to what he has done in the past with the 49ers its a scary thought to put him and Mack together. Would love to see him return and stay clean. Could be a scary player for years!

Dan Williams

Transformed our run defense into one of the best early on in the season, with a slide during the middle part. It was evident that his presence improved our defense dramatically. 

Rodney Hudson

Its crazy what a top tier center can do for your offensive line. The line was much improved due in large part to the addition of Hudson. Made evident by the few games he missed. Happy we have him locked up long term.

Michael Crabtree

Had a coming out party and thrived in his role as our 2nd wideout. Nearly reaching the 1,000 yard mark and lead the team in touchdown receptions. I expect him to be over 1,000 yards next season with another year of development from Carr.

David Amerson

Thank you Washington! Amerson came in, put his head down and worked his butt off to become our top corner. At the top of the list in batted balls this year. A good cover corner who is still young. Can’t wait to see what next years brings. Hopefully more consistent play.

Overall 7-9 is never what you aspire to be at seasons end. But it didn’t feel like a 7-9 season, we don’t look like a 7-9 team. Carr is on a short list of QB’s to have these numbers in their first two seasons. Its evident he is the true leader of this team. Bad decisions due to lack of maturity should disappear next year, the shackles of mainly underneath routes and screens should also dwindle. Khalil Mack is a freak and our defensive leader. A two position all-pro who is dominate against both the pass and the run. The Raiders have their undisputed leaders and playmakers on both sides of the ball while also possessing very good lines on both sides as well. With another draft and a lot of cap space we should see even more improvement next season.