By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on June 14, 2014
The Oakland Raiders did a great job in the offseason by adding the necessary pieces and depth to be a much better team in 2014. Dennis Allen will be on the hot seat next season, but the Raiders have talent in the right pieces. In one of the toughest divisions in the league, Oakland will likely finish last, but the future looks bright. Here are five players climbing the depth chart in OTAs.
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Greg Little was drafted out of North Carolina in the second round, but he has never quite panned out. Little possesses an NFL-ready frame at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. Playing for the Cleveland Browns, Little never had decent quarterback play and he was never used correctly. In Oakland's vertical offense, Little could be a good weapon.
Although Denarius Moore has been Oakland's most productive receiver in the past few years, he is rising the depth chart because of the injury to James Jones. Instead of Jones running the first receiver routes, Moore is the one who is getting the most passes thrown to him.
The Raiders drafted Menelik Watson in last year's draft, but he needed a lot of work with his technique. About a year later, Watson has the ability to start at one of the tackle positions. The Raiders signed Rodger Saffold in the offseason, but he failed a physical, and the Raiders settled for Donald Penn. Watson could be better than Penn by the end of 2014.
Although the Raiders will likely use a two-back system with Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden, it is Jones-Drew who is the one getting the most attention. Once seen as one of the best running backs in the league, Jones-Drew hasn't stayed healthy in recent years and that's been the main problem for him. If he can stay healthy, Jones-Drew could make an impact in the running and passing game.
The Raiders have made it clear that Matt Schaub is going to be the starter in 2014 and Derek Carr will hold the clipboard. But the latest rumor is that Carr is better than the Raiders anticipated and that will be important in deciding who will be the starter next season. Carr is doing everything he can to be named the starter.
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