The Oakland Raiders aren’t making their rookies earn it — they are expecting them to earn it. That was reflected in their first depth chart of 2019.
The Oakland Raiders aren’t making their rookies earn it the traditional way.
Reflected in the first depth chart the team has released since making all of their moves in the 2019 offseason, the Raiders are expecting their rookies to perform, and I love the tactic by Jon Gruden and his staff.
Rookies are often buried on the depth chart just based on principle. Coaches like their young guys to go out and ‘earn it’ but the Raiders aren’t wasting any time with that. They drafted these guys specifically to make an impact, and they are going to speak that impact into existence.
The Raiders’ first depth chart of the 2019 offseason includes five rookies in the starting lineup and a couple more prominent young names with the second unit.
Let’s take a look at the five rookies the Raiders are expecting to play starter’s snaps this year, including some obvious picks and some surprises.
Josh Jacobs, RB
Everyone expected Jacobs to take over as the Raiders’ starting running back sooner rather than later. What other reason do you take a running back in the first round?
We know Jon Gruden is going to want to pound the ball on the ground despite acquiring Antonio Brown this offseason, and Jacobs is the perfect type of physical back to carry a full workload.
Clelin Ferrell, DE
The Raiders’ top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was never going to ride the bench. As a matter of fact, the Raiders are expecting Ferrell to be a leader on this team and a prominent voice in their locker room.
That will obviously take time, but the former Clemson star is getting his chance to prove his worth as the number one DE on this squad.
Johnathan Abram, S
The Raiders did something kind of interesting on this initial depth chart. Instead of putting one free safety in the starting lineup on their depth chart, they put two. The rookie first-round pick Johnathan Abram is paired with big-money free agent pickup Lamarcus Joyner at free safety.
The Raiders obviously aren’t playing these two guys at the same position, but Joyner is going to be a big part of this defense as is Abram. I doubt if they’re going to be playing the same position, so we’ll see how this one shakes out on the field as the Raiders will likely move Joyner around the formation to do what he does best.
Hunter Renfrow, WR
The Oakland Raiders made the slot WR position a starting position on their offense, in addition to fullback. Obviously they can’t start 12 guys, but if they start a game with three wide receivers, you can expect to see the former Clemson star Hunter Renfrow out there first.
If you saw Renfrow walking around town in his street clothes, you would never guess he’s an NFL player. Guys simply struggle to cover him in short areas on the field. He’s been a training camp standout, per eyewitness reports.
Alec Ingold, FB
This one is significant because we know the Raiders are going to have a fullback in their offense, and Keith Smith is a veteran who has proven he can play.
Ingold is a converted linebacker from Wisconsin who scored 17 touchdowns in college, and cracked a lot of helmets paving the way for their stellar running game there.
We know how much Gruden loves “Spider 2 Y Banana” so Ingold’s inclusion in the starting offense is not to be overlooked.