Raiders

NFL Preview 2019: Ranking each AFC West team's most impactful rookie

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NFL Preview 2019: Ranking each AFC West team's most impactful rookie

The AFC West didn't add a lot of sexy rookies in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they added several players that should make an immediate impact.

The Raiders, with three first-round draft picks, should get the most bang for their buck. After finishing with a 4-12 record last season, they will need all of their draft picks to contribute right away. None more so than running back Josh Jacobs.

As for the Chargers and Chiefs, they have holes that need to be filled. In Denver, the Broncos are just trying to find a reliable target for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco.

Here's a look at the best rookies for each of the AFC West teams:

1. Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs

Jacobs was the highest ranked running back in the 2019 draft class, and has already been slotted in as the Raiders' feature back ahead of veteran Doug Martin and incumbents Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren III. The expectations are high for the Alabama product, but he has the size and power to carry the load for head coach Jon Gruden.

While defensive end Clelin Ferrell was taken 20 spots higher than Jacobs, all eyes will be on the No. 24 overall draft pick when the 2019 season starts,

Former Chargers great LaDanian Tomlinson believes Jacobs should win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. That's high praise from one of the best running backs to ever play.

The Raiders are hoping Jacobs lives up to the hype.

2. Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Jerry Tillery

With the Chargers losing defensive lineman Darius Philon and Corey Liuget in free agency, Tillery will have a chance to step in and take over at nose tackle.

Los Angeles will benefit from Tillery's ability to get to the quarterback. He finished his senior season at Notre Dame with eight sacks. Melvin Ingram led Los Angeles with seven sacks last season.

3. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman

The Chiefs lacked a first-round draft pick and used the No. 56 overall pick on the Georgia wideout. With the team suspending Tyreke Hill, Hardman should have a chance to play quite a bit early in the season.

ESPN's Chris Sprow wrote this about Hardman after Kansas City selected him: "Hardman runs a 4.33 40-yard dash and is raw as a pass-catcher but is an angle-destroying nightmare with the ball in his hands."

[RELATED: Previewing AFC West rushing attacks]

4. Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant

Because the Broncos used the No. 20 overall pick on the Iowa tight end, Fant should get an opportunity to play right away. But with Jeff Heuerman re-signing and Jake Butt on the roster, the rookie will have competition.

Fant is an understudy of 49ers' Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, so Broncos president of football operations John Elway is hoping the 2019 first-round draft pick can follow in Kittle's footsteps.

Raiders have begun packing up Alameda facility for Las Vegas move

Raiders have begun packing up Alameda facility for Las Vegas move

We knew it was happening, but it’s really, truly happening.

The Raiders have begun the tedious process of packing up their facility in Alameda to begin the journey to their new digs in Las Vegas. 

The facility on Bay Farm Island in Alameda has been the team’s home since 1996, and has been closed since March 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

[RELATED: Raiders begin UNLV turf installation]

The Raiders' new digs, Allegiant Stadium in Sin City, appears almost ready to go. With the outside lighting and official "Raiders Way" street signs installed in the nearby area, the relocation is becoming more of a reality.

Members of the team have also already shown face in Las Vegas. Quarterback Derek Carr posted a YouTube video at a local park along with Zay Jones, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Raiders owner Mark Davis speaks out on George Floyd death, protests

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Raiders owner Mark Davis speaks out on George Floyd death, protests

Raiders owner Mark Davis expressed anger in a statement issued Sunday about the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the on-going protests across America.

Davis said he understood of the resulting protests while also urging restraint from protesters.

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