As seen on Bleacher Report:
As with any fan base, the Raider Nation is not immune to overrating players. Every offseason coaches and front office personnel across the league lock themselves in the film room to study their own roster. It’s not uncommon for a player to lose snaps the following season after the team had time to evaluate their play relative to other players in the league.
There are a few players on the roster vulnerable to a loss of snaps or even a loss of a job after the Raiders new general manager Reggie McKenzie and new head coach Dennis Allen have time to evaluate them.
Giordano lead the Raiders in interceptions in 2011 with five and it has many fans thinking he is the solution at free safety and Michael Huff should be released or move to cornerback.
It’s important to remember Giordano only served as a nickel free safety and injury replacement for Huff in 2011, starting more than four games for the first time in his career. Dennis Allen coached Giordano during his final year in New Orleans and is well aware of his capabilities and limitations.
For every Giordano interception there was a missed tackle, bad angle or blown coverage assignment. What can be seen on television broadcasts is one thing, but imagine what more the coaches will uncover when they examine all-22 film?
If it wasn’t for an injury depleted and youthful group of Oakland Raiders cornerbacks in 2011, Giordano may have never had an opportunity to make the interceptions and we could be talking about a breakout year by Michael Huff. Instead, Huff was relagated to the slot cornerback role, a difficult and thankless position in a horribly designed 2011 Raiders defense.
When Darren McFadden went down with yet another injury, Bush stepped in to carry the load. Few were worried about what might happen the the Raiders running game because Bush was starting caliber running back just waiting for his chance.
Bush got his chance and despite 256 carries put up numbers like a backup running back. Bush rushed for 977 yards while starting the final 9 games and averaged just 3.8 yards-per-carry. The latter tying him with Brandon Jacobs and putting him just ahead of BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Marion Barber and Joseph Addai.
There have been rumors and some fans have suggested that the Raiders trade McFadden and start Bush. If it’s a game of inches Darren McFadden has averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry the last two seasons to Bush’s 3.9, a difference of 50 inches per carry.
Darren McFadden has had issues with injuries, but the gap between him and Bush is considerable. If Bush is back in silver and black next season he should be valued and paid like a backup.
Ford can electrify a crowd like no other player on the Raiders roster, but Ford has a lot to learn about being an NFL receiver. While Ford may be the most dangerous player on the Raiders roster with the ball in his hands, it’s getting it into his hands that has been a problem.
Despite an injury plagued 2011 campaign, Ford managed to play in 8 games, grabbing 19 balls for 279 yards. While Ford made the most of his receptions in 2011, he averaged just over 2 receptions per game played which is comparable to his rookie season.
Ford just isn’t getting open with great consistency and the Raiders were forced to get creative to get the ball to him. He’s an exciting young player, but he needs to improve as a receiver to become a consistent threat.
The Raiders reached for an unknown safety out of Ohio University with the 47th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Raiders Mitchell hasn’t become a starter or even a consistent sub-package player.
Mitchell is a situational safety that is often given the tough assignment against the opposing team’s best tight end. At times this role has worked for MItchell, but he’s also had his fair share of problems and was routinely chewed-out by starting strong safety Tyvon Branch in 2011 for missed coverage assignments.
If Huff moves to cornerback and Giordano finds himself without a job, there would be an opening in the Raiders secondary for a starter. Tyvon Branch could slide over to free safety, but Mitchell is far from ready to assume the starting strong safety role as some have been lead to believe.
It’s been three seasons and Mitchell hasn’t become a starter, assuming he could be a productive starter in 2012 is a huge mistake. He’ll be lucky to make the roster next season under the Raiders new regime.
The athletic offensive lineman made the active roster on game day just four times in 2011. There were instances in 2011 that an injured player that had no chance to play in the game was active on game day over Campbell.
This is the young lineman fans think can start over Khalif Barnes at right tackle? That’s seems unlikely at this point. As bad as Barnes was in 2011, Campbell must really look terrible in practice.
He’s a completely unknown commodity, expecting anything from him seems like a stretch headed into 2012. Raider fans should be happy if Campbell gives the team any positive production next season.
There is a lot of youth on this list and that means each player will have the opportunity to match the expectations the fans have placed upon them, even if that opportunity comes on another team.