Faces of the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders

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As the world slowly begins to return to a sense of normalcy, NFL teams are preparing themselves for the start of the season. Players arrive at organized team workouts looking to get better and prepare for the upcoming season. These players are considered leaders on and off the field. When the team needs a play to be made, these are the players that teammates, coaches, and fans expect to shine big when the lights are shining the brightest. Here we look at the three faces of the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders.

Faces of the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr

Derek Carr continues to be the most polarizing player in the franchise. His supporters will tell you Carr has been the lone bright spot in a franchise marred by mediocrity for an overwhelming portion of the century. Meanwhile, his haters will claim that his fumble issues, and his periodically occurring gun-shy mentality, are the reasons why this team has yet to take the next step. This portion of the fanbase believes that Carr is slightly above average, but nowhere near good enough to carry this franchise to a Super Bowl.

Each side makes a strong case, but they are both wrong. In reality, Carr compares similarly to Ryan Tannehill. Both individuals are talented enough to be starting quarterbacks in this league. However, in the end, you will always be left wanting more whether that be because of them or their situation. You just wish Carr were a little bit more aggressive and athletic. You just wish the organization fielded a competent defense to support him. This has to be the year it all finally comes together, right?

Henry Ruggs

The two biggest things that stood out during Henry Ruggs’ rookie season were his lack of strength and playing speed. A lack of strength is to be expected from some of these smaller/speed receivers, but Ruggs was barreling into defenders in college. He has shown a strong sense of self-awareness though. Recently released workout videos show a slightly bigger version of himself. Ruggs has added what looks like anywhere from 10 to 15 lbs. of muscle during the offseason.

The lack of playing speed likely stemmed from the absence of strength in his lower body. Now that Ruggs has packed on some muscle, he will have the power to burst in and out of his cuts. 2021 will be the year that Henry Ruggs enters the conversation as a top-10 wide receiver in the league.

Maxx Crosby

Closing out this list for the second year in a row is none other than Maxx Crosby. He has been the Raiders most/only consistent pass rusher for the past three seasons. On top of that, Crosby has spent what looks to be a better part of the offseason truly embracing Las Vegas and the culture of the Raiders. Now with Yannick Ngakoue rushing the passer on the opposite side, Crosby should see his production take another step forward. The arrival of Gus Bradley as the new defensive coordinator is not a move to be discounted either.

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