Photo via Tony Gonzales, Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders’ offensive line, along with the Dallas Cowboys’, has received nonstop accolades since the beginning of the 2016 NFL season.
The hype was warranted as the offensive line only gave up 16 sacks last year, which was a major reason for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s success.
Consequently, Raiders center Rodney Hudson was rated as the best pass blocker in the entire league — even better than the more highly-touted Cowboys center Travis Frederick — with a 98.9 pass blocking efficiency rating, per Pro Football Focus.
The 2016 Oakland Raiders had the second most franchise wins (12) and made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2003, for Oakland currently has the most talented team in recent memory.
However, which players were the most impressive and imperative in bringing the Raiders a record-breaking season in 2016?
According to Pro Football Focus, they have Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, center Rodney Hudson and guard Kelechi Osemele as the three best players from last season in that order.
It is definitely surprising that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr didn’t make the list, but Mack, Hudson, and Osemele might be considered more dominant compared to their position than Carr is to other quarterbacks.
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For example, name a defensive player better than Mack or a better guard than Osemele. Arguably, impossible to do, but it can be done with Carr.
In regards to Hudson, he is the greater surprise as it was not expected for him to be graded higher than Osemele and Raiders tackle Donald Penn, both crucial parts to the offensive line.
Overall, it is never an issue when a team has offensive linemen making the list as best on the team. It just means Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie built the team perfectly from inside out.
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