The Oakland Raiders new G.M Reggie Mckenzie has been working hard this offseason to get rid of over-priced contracts that players rarely deserved. He has gone a different route than the Raiders of old by avoiding “BIG” named players and players who just came off a career year who are looking for big paydays; Instead, our new G.M has sought out players who feel they have something to prove. Players that were either productive, but lost their spot due to injury or players that weren’t given much playing time, but played very well when given the opportunity. Here are some players that fit into these categories that I believe will breakout with the Raiders and be big contributers in 2012.
1] LB-Philip Wheeler: Wheeler recorded 85 tackles-1 forced fumble-1 Interception last season playing in only 13 games with the Colts and before then only played in spot duty. Wheeler is regarded as being very good against the run and he will get a much heavier workload in 2012 as he will be replacing Kam Wimbley. I believe Wheeler will record 110+ tackles and 3+ sacks and his run stopping ability will more than make up for the loss of Wimbley.
2] RB-Mike Goodson: Goodson rushed for 500+ yards on just 125 carries and carried a 4.0 ypc. average in 2010 and looked ready for a breakout season in 2011; however, Goodson has had issues with fumbling the football, and with the Panthers already having Williams and Stewart already under contract Goodson became expendable and didn’t recieve any playing time in 2011. Goodson feels as though he wasn’t given an opportunity with the Panthers and desperately wants to show them that they made a huge mistake. Goodson played very well in 2010 and didn’t get an opportunity in 2011, and I believe Mckenzie found a diamond in the rough with this guy, because he is big, strong, fast, and has something to prove. He also has very fresh legs and can catch which is something the Raiders will definately utilize. I believe Goodson will recieve a heavy workload in 2012 because he will be splitting carries with Mcfadden as the Raiders coaches will try to keep Mcfadden healthy through the 2012 season by limiting his carries. With a much better offensive line, a steady dose of carries, and being paired with Mcfadden as a change of pace back-I believe Goodson will have a breakout season in 2012 leaving many Raiders fans calling for his re-signing when the season is finished. Prediction: 800+yards on 200 carries and 300+ recieving yards.
Thank you for reading part 1 of New Raiders primed to breakout in 2012 and Part 2 will be posted tomorrow evening.