I’m not sure about The Oakland Raiders this NFL 2012-2013 season. Why do I say this? Let’s examine the above depth chart. At Quarterback and highlighted in Yellow, The Raiders are somewhat strong with Carson Palmer at the helm and in training camp and OTA’s all pre-season. But if Carson Palmer goes down, we have Matt Leinart behind him who has yet to find his rhythm and Terrelle Pryor where the jury is still out on him being the type of highly touted player he was at the high school level and college level at The Ohio State University.
I have circled in red the left tackle and left guard position because this is Carson Palmer’s blind side when he goes back to pass. The Oakland Raiders need Jared Veldheer and Cooper Carlisle to play at a very high level to protect Carson Palmer and keep him out of injury and harms way. This is Jared’s 3rd season and Cooper’s 13th season. So, we have kind of a new guy and a seasoned veteran protecting Carson Palmer. Behind these two linemen, the second team left tackle and left guard are rookies. Zach Hurd with one year and Tony Bergstrom’s first year in the NFL.
In blue, I circled the other component to this offense and that’s at running back. Obviously, the run sets up the pass. The Oakland Raiders run a modified West Coast Offense so these backs are also receivers and must know how to run good, clean routes, and be able to read defenses including linebackers, safeties, and corners. I have no doubt in Darren McFadden but all other backs are questionable. Taiwan Jones is a second year guy and Marcel Reece is in his third season. Can they pick up the slack if Darren McFadden suffers another knee injury? Not sure about that.
At the right guard and right tackle, The Raiders are pretty solid. These guys’ importance will climb if Matt Leinart has to play and this becomes his backside protection. These guys are both savvy veteran players and great linemen. The Raiders are fairly decent at Wide Receiver with Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford both with good outside and release speed and good hands.