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Oakland Raiders: 5 players to watch in 2016

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When a young team is on the rise people, begin to expect certain things. Thus is the case in Oakland with the Oakland Raiders. They have a lot of young talent, and many are hoping that talent to come to the top. What does that mean in 2016? We will soon find out. In the meantime, let’s take a look at five players to keep an eye on in Oakland.

Bruce Irvin. Irvin was brought in by the Oakland Raiders to give some help to Kalil Mack. This was going to be done when the Raiders brought in Aldon Smith. However, Smith cannot stay on the field. The league NFL is constantly suspending him for multiple reasons. In comes Irvin. Bruce Irvin brings his 22 sacks and 131 tackles to the opposite side of Mack. This makes the Raiders defense very formidable. Keep your eye on Irvin to see how well, and quickly, he and Mack gel.

DeAndre Washington

Washington is a rookie out of Texas Tech. He is making quite the splash as camp progresses. The Raiders have a young RB in Latavious Murray. Washington is making a strong case to take the #1 spot from Murray. For now, Washington is going to stay behind Murray and provide the needed back up that the Raiders have been looking for. Keep your eye on this kid. He is quickly giving the Raiders a solid 1, two punch.

Karl Joseph

The Raiders drafted Joseph after the retirement of future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. If there was a weak spot in the young Raiders defense last season it was in the secondary. Woodson, even at his age, was a rock. The Raiders are looking to get the same type of play out of Joseph. Joseph should be a starter from day 1. He should make the Raiders secondary troublesome for opposing offenses. Watch how Joseph and the Raiders secondary come together.

Amari Cooper

Cooper came on the scene in Oakland in 2015. The Raiders have often been known for their speed on the outside and Cooper brought that back. The question in 2016 will be if Cooper hits the sophomore wall? If he doesn’t, it gives the Oakland Raiders a set of triplets that is very talented and becoming hard to beat. The growth of Cooper on the outside will be exciting to watch.

Derek Carr

Carr was drafted in 2014 to be the Raiders franchise QB. Since given the reigns he has quickly taken over this tag and driven the Oakland Raiders to the top. During his first season as a Raider, Carr had a very limited weapon system. In 2015 the Raiders finally gave Carr something to work with and that he did. The Raiders offense has become very exciting to watch along with the growth of Carr. This is something the Raiders have not had at QB in quite some time. If this increase continues so will the growth of the Oakland Raiders. Keep your eye on the ongoing maturation of Derek Carr and the Raiders offense.

The Oakland Raiders are putting fear into a lot of teams. They are a team that you do not want to play. Teams especially don’t want to play them in the coming years. If this growth continues upward, without a backward step, look for the Raiders to be in championship talks very soon. Keep your eye out on these 5 and the rest of the Raiders, a team on the rise.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com