2012 Is a New Year for the Silver and Black, with new faces both on the field and on the sidelines. Though free agency is only in its early days, the Raiders still posses some very talented weapons on offense, and with Carson Palmer starting his sophomore season in the Silver and Black, these stars will no doubt shine in Oakland.
Here's a list of the top sixe Offensive Weapons that should put up big numbers next year.
David Ausberry wasn't a name that was spoken often during the regular season last year in Oakland. However, during training camp and preseason, he was talked about a good amount, making a solid impression on the coaching staff and fellow players.
Kevin Boss' release thins out the ranks at TE a little bit and leaves a wide open spot for Ausberry to make his mark. He's a big, physical receiver, so look for him to work the ball down the middle of the field or even line up as a receiver and get some reps there.
Any non-Raider fans would be surprised or even mock the fact a FB is on the top six Raiders offensive weapons list. However, Marcel Reece is no ordinary fullback.
The converted WR out of Washington is the Raiders' offensive multi-tool, who can line up pretty much anywhere and still manage to get in on the action. Hopefully Greg Knapp will realize what a weapon he's got and use him as more than just the run-of-the-mill fullback battering ram.
Look for Reece to catch swing passes and screens and run trick reverses with great success.
Now without a doubt, two years ago, Darrius Heyward-Bey and the words "offensive weapon" would not have gone in the same sentence. Now, however, DHB is quietly on his way to becoming a solid, reliable receiver in Oakland.
His numbers in 2011 greatly eclipsed anything he had put up before, and with hard work, 2012 will be an even better year for him. Look for Carson Palmer to launch the deep pass to Heyward-Bey, but also look for his speed on slant routes and even slug go-routes, as his route running has also immensely improved.
When Jacoby Ford was drafted in 2010, many thought of this as another speed pick by Al Davis: ok hands but could run by everyone before the QB took a three-step drop. However through 2010 and 2011, Ford silenced the critics and showed Davis's eye for talent by posting big numbers in big games, and not to mention his expertise on kickoff returns.
While his numbers dipped in 2011, it should be attributed to injury and shaky QB play. All members of the nation should look for him to put up BIG numbers in the 2012 campaign.
Darren McFadden can be the biggest weapon the Raiders have had on offense in a long time, yet injury has plagued him ever since he began his career in Oakland in 2008. However, I think that 2012 will be McFadden's year. With blazing speed, great agility, and excellent versatility, look for Mcfadden to make a big impact next year.
With the unlikeliness that Michael Bush will be resigned and pending any free agent moves on RB, McFadden will be the go-to man next year, taking the bulk of the carries. Look for him to cash in on these opportunities, compliment Carson Palmer, and avoid injury to have a successful 2012 season.
Denarius Moore is the best offensive weapon the Raiders have. After being drafted out of Tennessee in 2011, he went to work in training camp, showing his immense talent every day and consistently impressing his peers and coaching staff.
And in the 2011 campaign, Moore didn't disappoint. Given the limited expectations of a fifth round pick, Moore posted over 600 yards last year. Look for him to put up even more this year with the opportunity to work with Carson Palmer and the other receivers. Next year, Denarius Moore will be the No. 1 option in Oakland, and I wouldn't doubt his chances at a Pro Bowl selection.