The Oakland Raiders currently enjoy an incredible rookie class, so no matter what happens, credit to Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden on laying the bricks for the Raiders’ future. While the media (rightfully) gushes over Josh Jacobs and Maxx Crosby, there are many Raiders rookies performing well above their expectations. Before getting into the less-mentioned rookies, it must be noted that Jacobs just became the Raiders’ first rookie 1000-yard rusher and Maxx Crosby leads the team in sacks (7.5). That being said, there are a few rookies that deserve more recognition.
Renfrow probably will not ever be a team’s #1 wide receiver, but that has not stopped him from being Derek Carr’s go-to in important situation. Before going out with a rib injury, Renfrow was establishing himself as the first look on third down. Renfrow also caught the game-winning touchdown to defeat the Lions this year.
Despite Darren Waller blowing up to start the season, Moreau continued grinding to earn playing time. Moreau has recorded 17 receptions for 145 yards. More importantly, has established himself as a red zone targets, with four of his 17 receptions leading to touchdowns. Despite not being the #1 tight end on the team, many recognize him as one of the league’s better rookie tight ends.
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Not many teams in the league believe in the use of a fullback, but the Oakland Raiders do. Alec Ingold, the Raiders’ fullback since the season kicked off and has not given the team reason to change. Ingold made his name crushing defenders trying to get in Josh Jacobs’ way. While no stat keeping track of fullback blocks leading to touchdowns exists, Ingold has started the motion to get the stat recognized with how often it occurs.
Cole was a breath of fresh air for the Raiders this year. After watching Johnny Townsend struggle punt correctly all last season, Cole’s emergence has been impressive. He has done an impeccable job pinning opponents deep all season and appears primed to stick around.
While the Oakland Raiders struggle, a majority of their rookie class is thriving. Mayock proved the doubters wrong. Plus, hopefully, in a few years, we will be able to refer to his drafting of Clelin Ferrell as a success. The best part about having a good rookie class is being able to look at the franchise with, at least, a little bit of hope. The Raiders have two first-round picks this year thanks to the Khalil Mack trade. This almost certainly solidifies the Raiders to add two more building blocks to an already impressive young class. The present may be murky, but the future is bright.