Raiders add toys for Derek Carr in Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook

With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror, and organized team activities and minicamps in full swing, here's a starting lineup projection for the Oakland Raiders:


QB: Derek Carr: Ready to take that next step after a broken right fibula ended his breakout season -- he finished tied for third in NFL MVP voting -- in Game 15.

RB: Marshawn Lynch: While no one questions his excitement to don the Silver and Black, even coach Jack Del Rio wonders how much Lynch has left in the tank.

FB: Jamize Olawale: Not the classic lead blocking back but gets the job done and has speed to boot.

LT: Donald Penn: Entering his 11th season after, perhaps, his best season and second Pro Bowl designation.

LG: Kelechi Osemele: All-Pro already taking orders as a short-order breakfast cook. Pancakes, anyone?

C: Rodney Hudson: Pro Bowler finally getting his due as brains on the brawny O-line.

RG: Gabe Jackson: A mauler and road grader whose transition from the left side was relatively seamless.

RT: Marshall Newhouse: Free-agent acquisition on his fourth team in five years but already has the lead on the gig, per Del Rio.

TE: Jared Cook: Entering ninth year and while his stats have dropped in each of the past three seasons, he will be the best pass-catching tight end Carr has had.

WR: Amari Cooper: One of the game's most electric young receivers but production has dropped off late in first two seasons.

WR: Michael Crabtree: What Crabtree might have lost in foot speed he more than makes up for in tenacity.


DE: Mario Edwards Jr.: Raiders hoping for first full, healthy season from 2015 second-rounder, who played in only two games last fall.

DT: Darius Latham: Undrafted free agent found a role as a big-bodied space-occupier last fall but could be pushed by third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes.

DT: Justin Ellis: How will "Jelly" respond with his former D-line running mate Dan "Peanut Butter" Williams no longer in the fold?

DE: Khalil Mack: Defensive player of the year is a "six-story building" whose elevator is still only on "Floor 3," says Hall of Famer Howie Long, meaning he has yet to reach his full potential, which is scary for opposing offenses.

LB: Jelani Jenkins: Free-agent signee played four years for Dolphins but has only 3.5 career sacks and no interceptions.

MLB: Ben Heeney: Hear me out here, because unless the Raiders re-sign Perry Riley Jr., or fifth-rounder Marquel Lee shocks the team, Heeney, who started at MLB last season before a season-ending ankle injury, is the seeming incumbent.

LB: Bruce Irvin: Started calling himself "Robin" to Mack's "Batman," Irvin forced a career-high six fumbles last season and his seven sacks were his most since he had eight as a rookie in Seattle in 2012.

CB: David Amerson: Up and down season in which he missed a game because of injury after signing big-money contract in offseason netted him two interceptions, two fewer than the year before.

FS: Reggie Nelson: Wily veteran went to his second straight Pro Bowl, in his 10th season, and while his five INTs led Oakland, will be leaned on to tutor second-rounder Obi Melifonwu.

SS: Karl Joseph: Undersized first-rounder missed four games because of injury but still named to PFWA's all-rookie team after getting 60 tackles, an INT and six passes defensed.

CB: Sean Smith: Raiders tenure got off to an inauspicious start when he was benched in opener but matched career high with two INTs, though could be pushed by first-round draft pick Gareon Conley.


K: Sebastian Janikowski: The franchise's all-time leading scorer, with 1,799 points, played in the postseason in his first three years but did not return to the playoffs until his 17th season.

P: Marquette King: Most fit punter in the NFL is also one of the league's most outrageous follows on social media.

KR: Cordarrelle Patterson: Two-time All-Pro has returned five kicks for touchdowns in his four-year career, while the Raiders last returned a kick for a TD in 2011.

PR: Jalen Richard: Averaged 9.0 yards while returning 34 punts as an undrafted rookie last season, including a 47-yarder at Baltimore.