The Oakland Raiders are coming off of yet another disastrous season in what has been a decade-and-a-half full of them, as they won just four games in 2018.
However, the Raiders have had quite the makeover this offseason, adding the likes of Antonio Brown, Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams, and Lamarcus Joyner, among others, to their roster.
Is Oakland a playoff team? Maybe not, but the Raiders should, at the very least, be better than they were a year ago and should at least compete for a playoff spot this coming season.
But in order to do that, there are some key training camp battles that will need to sort themselves out.
So, here are the three players with the most to gain in Raiders training camp.
3. Darren Waller
Because of all of their other additions, the Raiders weren’t able to retain tight end Jared Cook, who was one of the lone bright spots in Oakland during the 2018 campaign.
As a result, the Raiders don’t really have a proven tight end on their roster. That means someone is going to have to win the job in camp, and Darren Waller appears to be the favorite.
Oakland signed Waller back in late November, and he ended up logging six catches for 75 yards with the club.
Just 26 years old and with a great combination of size (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) and speed (4.46 40-yard dash time), Waller seems like a low-key breakout candidate for 2019.
Of course, he has a long way to go and will have to prove himself in training camp to even solidify himself as the starter.
2. Hunter Renfrow
We know that Brown and Williams will be the Raiders’ top two wide receivers this year. That isn’t even a question. But who will be the No. 3?
No. 3 receivers are important, as they can turn a good offense into a great one. That’s where Renfrow comes into play, as he seems like a prototypical slot receiver who could end up playing a significant role at some point.
Oakland picked him up in the fifth round out of Clemson, where he didn’t put up huge numbers, but was incredibly consistent.
For a Raiders squad that lacks a proven tight end, Renfrow’s ability to catch passes on quick slants over the middle could be a key to Oakland’s offense in 2019.
Obviously, Renfrow is far from an established commodity, so he will need to earn his keep this summer.
1. Josh Jacobs
It took a while, but Josh Jacobs finally signed his contract with the Raiders last week, so now, we know that Jacobs will certainly be taking part in training camp later this month.
Oakland had previously signed Isaiah Crowell to handle the featured back role earlier this offseason, but a torn Achilles has knocked Crowell out for the season and has opened the door for Jacobs to come in and steal the show during his rookie year.
Jacobs will have a lot of competition, as veteran Doug Martin probably has the inside track to the No. 1 job at the moment, and Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will also be vying for playing time, but the Raiders drafted Jacobs in the first round for a reason.
It’s obvious Jon Gruden and Co. view Jacobs as the running back of the future, so they will give him every opportunity possible to win the job this summer. It’s just a matter of Jacobs actually going out there and doing it.