Photo via Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images
The Raiders Wire has already done a 53-man roster projection on the offense and defense, but one must not overlook special teams as it can decide the outcome of a few games each year.
Here are our projections of who will be playing on special teams for the Oakland Raiders in our 2017 roster projection 1.0.
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the only player on the roster who was there the last time Oakland made it to the Super Bowl. He was a first-round draft pick of Al Davis and has lived up to the hype that comes with being a kicker taken in the first round.
However, father time seems to be creeping up on Janikowski. He still has the powerful leg that he once had, but has been inconsistent with his accuracy often missing in close games.
Janikowski missed two extra points last season, a career high.
He should make the team this year but could be in jeopardy of being cut in the future if he doesn’t turn back the clock or take a pay cut.
Punter: Marquette King
Raiders punter Marquette King, who never shies away from controversy, is one of the best punters in the NFL despite not getting the pro bowl recognition he deserved in 2016.
King killed it last season by averaging 48.6 yards per punt and downing 34 punts inside the 20 yard-line.
He is only going to improve his craft and will be the Raiders’ punter for years to come.
Long Snapper: Jon Condo
Raiders long snapper Jon Condo’s incredible special teams play has landed him a long-term job and a contract worth over one million per year with the team.
His only job is to snap the ball to King and then to run down the field to cover punts, however, there are not many better at their craft than Condo.
His value reached new heights when he went out with an injury in the first game of the 2012 season against the San Diego Chargers and the team fell apart.
Kick/Punt Returner: Jalen Richard
Raiders running back Jalen Richard has shown to be one of the most explosive players in the NFL. His elusiveness and speed have shown through countless times in the running game and in the return game.
He didn’t get as many opportunities to showcase his skills as he should have, due to the new NFL kickoff rules, but made an impact when possible. There was no bigger play than his punt return against the Houston Texans in the playoff game that gave hope during a rather bleak day.
He should get more opportunities at both returning positions to hopefully make more momentum plays in 2017 like he did in Houston.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.