Although the season doesn’t start for months, the anticipation intensifies. If you are honest, you realize the AFC West also improved. The Raiders sit in probably the most competitive division in the NFL. With that said, the team will battle for these six important games. Even Denver, who suffered through random quarterback failings to finally improve. Below, are the newest arrivals to division rivals that will give the Raiders fits.
Jerry Tillery, Chargers DT
Granted, to most fans, Tillery’s name may not read any bells. However, he brings a much-needed aspect to the Los Angeles front seven. For years, the Chargers generated heat on the perimeter with Bosa and Ingram. In adding Tillery, the Chargers drop a mobile, angular but strong defensive tackle to penetrate. With uncertainty at left guard for the Raiders, Tillery will become an instant problem.
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Frank Clark, Chiefs DE
If you look at the film of the London 2018 game, you see Clark absolutely obliterating Kolton Miller. Clark plays with heavy hands and the ability to readjust. That is to say, he reads the flow of the play on the fly. Depending on how much Miller evolved will determine what the Raiders should do. With Clark, do they drop a tight end to the left of Miller? Over the next few seasons, he’ll serve as a worthy adversary to test the effectiveness and progression on Kolton Miller. With better bend and added strength, Miller could hold his own.
Dalton Risner, Broncos RG
Normally, a rookie interior lineman would not make this list. However, part of Risner’s impact will happen before the snap. He brings the intangible of toughness. As a result, from whistle to whistle, Risner will legally attempt to physically assault and frustrate a defender. When you look at Maurice Hurst, be prepared to watch this matchup for the next five years. While Hurst brings a slashing quickness to the middle, Risner can use technique. What separates Risner from many is the legality of his blocking. From his days at Kansas State, he keeps his approach clean. Under those circumstances, frustrations rolls in when he stonewalls opponents all game. Granted, Hurst is the superior athlete, and must use that to win these skirmishes.