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NFL Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders’ 5 Most Irreplaceable Players in 2014

5 Players the Raiders Can't Replace in 2014

Marcel Reece
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2014 campaign, the Oakland Raiders appear to be headed in the right direction. They upgraded their roster via free agency and 2014 NFL Draft, but still have a long way to go before they’re ready to contend. Still, there’s promise for the future, assuming some of their most irreplaceable players stick around.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five players the Raiders can’t afford to lose in 2014.

SS Tyvon Branch

Tyvon Branch
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

SS Tyvon Branch

Tyvon Branch
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, when Branch went down with a leg injury, the Raiders were forced to insert Brandian Ross into the starting lineup. It didn’t go well. Now heading into the 2014 campaign, Oakland still doesn’t have a reliable option behind Branch. Usama Young could fill the void, but he’s better suited as a free safety.

C Stefen Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

C Stefen Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the Raiders’ offensive line certainly looks better this season as compared to last, Wisniewski is still the best of the starting five. On top of that, he’s the only player who can’t be easily replaced. Not only do the Raiders lack a legitimate backup center, but Wisniewski is the leader of the line.

OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Mack is just a rookie and has yet to even see a snap in the NFL. However, the natural talent, athleticism and playmaking ability that he brings to the table will soon have the Raiders hoping he’ll be in silver and black for life. After the first few games, he’ll be one of the Raiders’ most irreplaceable players.

DE Justin Tuck

Justin Tuck
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

DE Justin Tuck

Justin Tuck
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After losing Lamarr Houston this offseason, the Raiders signed the aging veteran Tuck to fill the void. While he’s certainly not the pass rusher he used to be, he’s still Oakland’s best bet to replace Houston’s production. If he goes down, the next in line is C.J. Wilson, who only saw 127 snaps last year and wasn’t impressive.

FB Marcel Reece

Marcel Reece
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

FB Marcel Reece

Marcel Reece
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Reece is easily the most underrated part of the Raiders’ offense. While the fullback usually isn’t that important, Reece does a great job of blocking, catching passes and occasionally running the ball. He’s the offense’s Swiss army knife, and has a subpar backup in Jamize Olawale – not encouraging in the least.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.