Preseason games are still a month and a half away and things are pretty quiet but there is still news to be had.
Khalil Mack - Was voted the 13th best player in the NFL by other players.
Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is voted the 13th-best player in the NFL
Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is voted the 13th-best player in the NFL by his peers on "Top 100 Players of 2016." Mack finished the season second in the league with 15 sacks.
And if thats not scary enough consider that the Raiders are working very hard to complement him on the other side this season.
Bruce Irvin Emerging As Versatile Complement To Khalil Mack
As dominant as Mack was throughout the season, a true complement to him coming off the other edge didn’t really materialize. Mack led the team with his aforementioned 15 sacks, but after him, the player with the most sacks in Silver and Black was linebacker Malcolm Smith with four. Rookie defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. established himself as the season wore on, but injury prevented him from really emerging as the secondary option to Mack over the course of 16 games.
James Starks - I saw a new term, Lacywatch. The presumed Green Bay starter lost his job to Starks for a few weeks last year and there were concerns that he was in terrible shape. So Eddie Lacy came into camp this year trimmed down and ready to go.
Some still have questions, however.
John Crockett to play role in backfield, special teams
The overlooked subtext to Lacywatch 2016 is the lack of depth behind him at the running back position. General manager Ted Thompson chose to re-sign veteran James Starks, who turned 30 shortly after the playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Branden Oliver - There are also questions around Melvin Gordon in San Diego. Is he going to be 100% to start the year? His season ended last December after a knee injury against the Dolphins. In January he underwent microfracture surgery.
If Gordon struggles early on, could Oliver lead the way?
That said, Telesco does have another option to go to, and that’s Branden Oliver. A 2014 undrafted free agent out of Buffalo, Oliver led the team in rushing his rookie year with 582 yards on 160 carries. He also had four total touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving). Injuries to his teammates pushed him up the depth chart. He played in 14 games and started seven of those games when Ryan Mathews missed time.
Speaking of BO, here are 16 fun facts about the UB Alumnus.
16 Things You Never Knew About Branden Oliver | San Diego Chargers
et to know the San Diego Chargers even better throughout the 2016 offseason with 16 things you never knew about your favorite players. Next up is running back Branden Oliver.
Josh Thomas - The Cowboys are still trying to figure out how to fix their secondary and the door is definitely open for Thomas if he can step up.
Familiar Questions Linger In Cowboys' Secondary - Today's Pigskin
Scandrick’s return this season will give the Cowboys a three-man rotation at the two corner spots. Josh Thomas, who has played for six NFL teams since 2011, was also signed in the offseason. He is only 5’11, but his quickness could make him a good fit covering slot receivers and/or playing in nickel and dime packages.
Kristjan Sokoli - The Seahawks are drafting a lot of linemen and that's why it's very important for Sokoli to show progress this year.
A breakdown of the Seahawks offensive line and if Tom Cable should be on the hot seat - Field Gulls
Cable’s tenure as a Seahawk began in 2011, but for the sake of things, we’ll include linemen added in 2010, as Seattle invested a first round pick in Okung that season. Before the 2016 draft, Seattle had selected 11 offensive linemen, an average of approximately 1.83 per year. This number would obviously be higher if we factor in the three linemen drafted this year. This value might be misleading, as Ryan Seymour, Garrett Scott, Terry Poole and Kristjan Sokoli have not seen any playing time, while Glowinski has played all of one game. Then again, every draft pick is a valued commodity that coaches don’t see as a waste at the time. There is no reason to ignore them, as the intention to invest is visible.