Which Raiders Players Made ESPN’s Top 100 NFL Players?
The NFL spent a better part of August releasing its top 100 players where four members of the Las Vegas Raiders made the list.
Now, it’s ESPN’s turn.
With the help of more than 50 NFL experts under the ESPN umbrella, a panel of experts selected which players they believe will stand out during the 2022 season. According to the ESPN article, emphasis was placed “solely on expectations for the upcoming season and predicting potential greatness, rather than past performance, career résumé or positional value.”
The Los Angeles Chargers lead the way with eight players making the list. Five teams — New York Jets, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, and the New England Patriots — were not represented.
Four players from the Raiders made the list. Only one made the top 10, but all ranked within the top 70. Leading the way as the highest-rated Raider is newcomer Davante Adams. In his last year with the Green Bay Packers, he ranked at No. 8.
Only two other receivers – Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp – come in ahead of Adams. Surrounded by talented players like Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, and his old college teammate Derek Carr, ESPN expects Adams to flourish in 2022.
Since being drafted 53rd overall in 2014, Adams leads the league with 81 receiving touchdowns in the regular season and playoffs in 127 career games. In 2012 and 2013, Adams’ two seasons at Fresno State with Carr throwing him the ball, Adams caught 38 touchdown passes, which led all FBS quarterback-receiver tandems in that span.
Next up on the list is another pass catcher for the Silver and Black, tight end Darren Waller. Because of injuries, the 29-year-old tight end only played in 11 games last season, but when healthy, he’s more than capable of surpassing 1,000 yards receiving.
Over the past three seasons, Waller ranks second among tight ends in receptions (252), receiving yards (3,006) and yards after the catch (1,414) — all behind only Travis Kelce. He is the only TE over the past five seasons to gain 80 yards after a catch on a single play.
If he can stay healthy, ESPN’s panel expects him to reach nearly 900 yards and a handful of touchdowns.
For the third straight season, Patrick Mahomes is king of the NFL Rank 👑
— ESPN (@espn) August 30, 2022
The Raiders’ signal caller Derek Carr comes in at No. 60 after not being ranked in 2021. While he threw for 4,804 yards last season, he was also sacked 40 times, the second-highest total in his career. If the offensive line can protect him, then the sky is the limit for Carr.
And rounding out the players from Las Vegas is the sole defensive presence, Maxx Crosby. The defensive end kicked off his offseason by winning the Pro Bowl defensive MVP and securing a four-year, $99 million contract extension. Paul Guiterrez of ESPN’s panel wrote Crosby “who has been next to unblockable in camp, should thrive” in 2023.