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Oakland Raiders: 2017 NFL Combine Players To Watch

Oakland Raiders: 2017 NFL Combine Players To Watch Victorfosterono via Flickr

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Oakland Raiders: 2017 Combine Players to Watch

The Oakland Raiders season came to a screeching halt when Derek Carr broke his leg in 2016. After his loss, the team became lethargic and struggled to produce offensively. The defense was turnover happy this season, but was one of the leagues worst in yards per game. With 13 players on the brink of free agency, the Oakland Raiders must keep an eye on the Combine.

Here we are going to look over a few players to be featured in the upcoming 2017 NFL Combine that could make a difference for the Oakland Raiders.

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Taco Charlton – Defensive End – Michigan

The Oakland Raiders defensive line shines behind Khalil Mack, but all that glitters is not gold. Although the Raiders had a total of 18 sacks, 11 of which were provided by Mack. The defense also allowed an abysmal 4.47 yards per carry. Charlton could be a perfect fit to line up along side of Bruce Irvin or Khalil Mack. Last year Taco Charlton posted 9.5 sacks paired with 13 tackles for a loss while earning First-Team BIG 10 honors.

Jourdan Lewis – Cornerback – Michigan

The Oakland Raiders defense had their struggles against opposing quarterbacks last year. The squad allowed 257 yards per game passing and 27 passing touchdowns last season. Through 12 games last season Pro Football Focus held Lewis as their top cornerback in college. He led the league in passes defensed while also allowing just one touchdown on the season. The outstanding corner Jourdan Lewis also allowed just 36 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. The only thing working against him is his size, 5’10” 170 pounds.

Forrest Lamp – Left Tackle – Western Kentucky

One the that the Raiders have is a great protection scheme and the starting five to back it up. Unfortunately upon Donald Penn‘s injury, it was apparent that Oakland needs some depth. Forrest Lamp was a third team AP All American as a senior. Forrest Lamp started every game at the blind side the last two years, while being named a first team all conference selection. Lamp is versatile as well, making starts at guard and tackle during his tenure at Western Kentucky. Being able to plug him in where needed makes him all the more impressive.

Caleb Brantley – Defensive Tackle – Florida

The Oakland Raiders defense struggles against good running backs. In regard to yardage, seventh worst in the league at 375 yards per game. Caleb Brantley is 6’2″ a 295 pound Gator that disrupts plays. Brantley also has a pursuit that is not generally matched at his position. Although he can dominate smaller opposing linemen with strength, his swim move is equally dangerous.

T.J. Watt – Inside Linebacker – Wisconsin

Perry Riley and ex Super Bowl MVP Malcom Smith both had up and down seasons this past year. Depth at the inside linebacker position comes at a premium. With both of their contracts set to expire this offseason, along with back up Daren Bates, the Raiders will need to add to their linebacker core. T.J. Watt looks excel in the NFL if he is able to stay healthy. He has had injuries to both knees, missing one season and serving as a reserve in the other. However once healthy last year he racked up 63 tackles, and 11.5 sacks. Watt was also named a second team AP All-American and first team All BIG 10.