Raiders

Raiders legend John Madden on panel to elect expanded Hall of Fame class

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AP

Raiders legend John Madden on panel to elect expanded Hall of Fame class

Legendary Raiders coach John Madden was announced Thursday as part of a 25-member panel that will select a special Centennial Class into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Twenty new members of the Hall of Fame will be inducted in 2020, which includes five modern-era players, 10 seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), two coaches and three contributors (an individual other than a player or coach).

The panel that will elect the seniors, coaches and contributors includes Hall of Famers Madden, Ron Wolf, Bill Polian, Ozzie Newsome and Dick LeBeau. Six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots also is on the panel.

The blue-ribbon panel also includes 13 members of the overall selection committee, as well as former football executives and several leading historians.

A comprehensive list of nominated seniors, contributors and coaches will be compiled and presented to the panel by the end of this month, the Hall of Fame announced.

A reduction vote by the panel to 20 seniors, 10 contributors and 8 coaches will be announced in the fall. The special panel will then meet in person to vote for 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches.

Among the former Raiders considered strong candidates for the expanded class are three-time All-Pro wide receiver Cliff Branch and two Super Bowl-winning head coach Tom Flores. Former 49ers and Raiders running back Roger Craig is also among the potential seniors candidates. George Seifert is a two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach of the 49ers who could warrant consideration, too.

[RELATED: Patrick Willis, Justin Smith eligible nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame]

The expanded class will join the five-member class that will be determined among the 122 nominees that recently was announced. The five-member class of modern-era Hall of Famers will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August 2020, with the additional 15 inductees being honored during the NFL Centennial Celebration in September 2020.

Hall of Fame Blue-Ribbon Panel

Ernie Accorsi – Longtime Pro Football Executive
Bill Belichick – New England Patriots Head Coach
Jarrett Bell – Hall of Fame Selector, USA Today
Joel Bussert – Former NFL Executive, Pro Football Historian
John Clayton – Hall of Fame Selector, The Washington Post
Frank Cooney – Hall of Fame Selector, Sports XChange
John Czarnecki – Hall of Fame Selector, FOX Sports
Rick Gosselin – Hall of Fame Selector, Talk of Fame Network
Elliott Harrison – Pro Football Historian and Long-time TV Analyst
Joe Horrigan – Retired Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive, Football Historian
Ira Kaufman – Hall of Fame Selector, JoeBucsFan.com
Dick LeBeau – Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback, Longtime NFL coach
Jeff Legwold – Hall of Fame Selector, ESPN/ESPN.com
John Madden – Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach
John McClain – Hall of Fame Selector, Houston Chronicle
Gary Myers – Hall of Fame Selector, The Athletic
Ozzie Newsome – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end, former EVP Baltimore Ravens
Sal Paolantonio – Hall of Fame Selector, Senior National Correspondent - ESPN
Carl Peterson – Longtime Pro Football Executive
Bill Polian – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor
Dan Pompei – Hall of Fame Selector, The Athletic
Charean Williams – Hall of Fame Selector, Pro Football Talk
Chris Willis – Producer- Head of Research Library - NFL Films, Football Historian
Barry Wilner – Hall of Fame Selector, Associated Press
Ron Wolf – Pro Football Hall of Fame Contributor

Ranking Raiders' top 25 offensive players heading into 2020 NFL Draft

Ranking Raiders' top 25 offensive players heading into 2020 NFL Draft

The Raiders are now two offseasons into a major roster rebuild, with significant progress made and lots of work left to be done. That’s true on the offensive side of the football, which is filling out well to this point. They have spent heavily and well up front, with a solid group of skill players that could’ve been better had the receiver corps not come apart at the seams. 

Since we have a week before ramping up NFL draft previews, let’s take a moment to evaluate the Raiders roster as it stands. We’re going to take a close look at it this week, devoting both Tuesday and Friday's Raiders Talk podcasts to the cause. We’re also going to take a look at each position group in story form, and here we’re going to rank the team’s top 25 offensive players regardless of position. 

I’m certain you won’t agree with this order. You’ll think a player is too high or too low, or someone belongs over another. It’s hard comparing to centers to receivers to quarterbacks, and we’ve taking prestige away from the position and focus on just how well a player mans his post. 

Feel free to comment and debate on social media. We’re sure many of you will. Let’s have fun with these during a period where we have some extra time on our hands. Thanks to those who weighed in on this ranking and made it better. Let’s get on with the list. Here are the top 25 offensive players.

VIEW RAIDERS' TOP 25 OFFENSIVE PLAYERS HERE

Raiders roster analysis: Offense few additions away from being dynamic

Raiders roster analysis: Offense few additions away from being dynamic

The Raiders offense is a few pieces away from being truly dynamic. They’re well-stocked at several spots, with immediate help needed in others.

We’re taking a close look at the team’s offense and defense this week on all platforms, with a podcast, stories and player rankings devoted to the offensive and defensive units.

We’ll focus first on an attack coordinated by Jon Gruden and executed by longtime Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, entering his seventh season as the starter.

Let’s take a look at the current state of each offensive position group and whether they need help in the short or long term:

Quarterback

Starter: Derek Carr

Top reserves: Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman

State of the position: The Raiders are incredibly deep at the position, will all three signal-callers armed with starting experience. Carr’s the clear-cut starter and Mariota ranks high among the league’s best backups. That pecking order should remain most of the year, with Carr assisted by a talented supporting cast. He’s in a great position to thrive in 2020, with Mariota offering competition and collaboration in the quarterback meeting room.

Help wanted?: This is a big year for Carr and Mariota. Quarterbacks are well-positioned for success, and struggles in 2020 could lead the Raiders to look in a different direction next offseason. If Carr thrives, he could cement himself as the starter through the remainder of his contract. Mariota can’t overtake Carr, he may want to go elsewhere next year. The Raiders could draft a young quarterback to develop, but they don’t need one.

Receivers

Starters: Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor

Key reserves: Zay Jones, Marcell Ateman, Keelan Doss

State of the position: This group is missing a true No. 1. Williams is an excellent secondary option and should be better than he was in 2019, when he was dealing with foot issues. Renfrow’s a quality slot receiver who showed great chemistry with Carr down the stretch. Jones didn’t do much after an in-season trade. Agholor’s only listed as a starter until the NFL draft.

Help wanted?: The Raiders need a frontline starter they’re expected to find in the NFL draft’s first round. They could add another pass catcher in the later rounds to add depth and top talent to a position group that desperately needs more of both.

Running backs

Starters: RB Josh Jacobs, FB Alec Ingold

Key reserves: Jalen Richard, Rod Smith

State of the position: The Raiders are in great shape in the backfield, with Jacobs an elite feature back who does most everything well. Richard’s as good a third-down option as you’ll find, and Ingold a versatile fullback who works extremely well with Jacobs.

Help wanted?: The Raiders could use a young, bruising back to spell Jacobs and bring a different size and skill set to the running back room. Jacobs can be physical between the tackles, but a larger runner could help supplement an already strong ground game.

Tight ends

Starter: Darren Waller

Key reserves: Foster Moreau, Jason Witten, Darren Waller, Nick O’Leary

State of the position: There’s plenty of depth and talent in this group, so much the Raiders could keep a fourth tight end on the 53-man roster. Waller’s an elite receiving talent, Witten’s aging but still has something left and Moreau’s a solid run blocker and red zone threat. Carrier’s a glue guy who provides quality depth

Help wanted?: The Raiders are well stocked for 2020, with Waller and Moreau anchoring the position group for a long time.

Offensive line

Starters: LT Kolton Miller, LG Richie Incognito, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Trent Brown

[RELATED: NFL plans for normal 2020 season despite pandemic]

Reserves: OG Denzelle Good, OG Eric Kush, OT David Sharpe, OT Brandon Parker, G/C Andre James

State of the position: The Raiders have spent heavily on the offensive line, which should be one of the NFL’s best when healthy. They used roughly 28 percent of their salary cap on the starters alone, so they’d better be. Brown and Hudson are at the top of their field, with strong guard play expected if Jackson regains old form. They have depth on the interior, with Good more than capable in a starting role.

Help wanted?: The Raiders could use some depth at offensive tackle, maybe coming from the NFL draft’s middle rounds. Parker has struggled in pass protection and Sharpe is improving but has to continue his development.