The Oakland Raiders have had a laundry list of problems with their roster over the past couple of years. But one of the most glaring deficiencies was the lack of a star player. Even the worst team in the league last year, the Houston Texans has star players in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt. The closest thing to a star the Raiders have had recently were the often injured Darren McFadden and Charles Woodson who no longer plays like a super star.
This offseason, the Raiders added a lot of big names, but most if not all of them are past their star status years. That is not to say that they have nothing left to contribute, but they are past the days of being seen as one of the best in the league, that is for sure. So while the Raiders have a much improved roster, it is still yet to be seen if the Raiders will be able to lay claim to having one of the big stars in the NFL.
There are two guys with the potential to answer that question in the affirmative: rookie Khalil Mack and former undrafted free agent Rod Streater.
The mention of Mack should surprise no one. Universally seen as one of the top two defensive players in the draft, Mack appears to be the kind of player that teams dream about drafting. He is a solid all around talent who is humble while also very confident. He excels in the pass rush but can play in coverage and the run game very well also. It would not at all be surprising to see him be a young star in the NFL and potentially win the defensive rookie of the year.
Streater, on the other hand, will likely have a lot of people disagreeing with me. Streater is entering his third year in the league and has been very impressive in his first two seasons. At 6’3 200lbs with 4.4 speed, Streater has good size and very good speed. He also runs good routes and has solid hands. Despite having two of the worst quarterbacks in the league throwing to him in 2013, he still managed to log 888 yards.
Regardless of your opinion on Schaub, there should be no debate about whether he is an upgrade to the quarterback position. Even in his worst year as an NFL player, he had better stats than both Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor. And the difference is being noted already. Andre Holmes recently commented on how nice it is that with Schaub you know where the ball is going to be. He throws the ball on time and to the right spot, said Holmes. That kind of quality will be huge for Streater. He was able to find success with poor play under center so he should be able to truly excel with a legitimate NFL caliber starting quarterback throwing him the ball.