Pro Bowl voting has now opened, giving Raider Nation a chance to send their favorite players to the showcase.
This season, the great city of Las Vegas has a good chance of seeing a few of their hometown players suiting up for the game. Several Raiders are leading the league in a few categories. The numbers have been kind to the 5-4 Raiders to date, making a strong argument for a few players in the Silver and Black to be selected.
According to Pro Football Focus, there's no edge rusher in the NFL that is playing better than Maxx Crosby right now.
The defensive end holds the best overall grade among edge rushers (92.3). He also holds the No. 1 pass rushing grade (92.7), not to mention his 63 quarterback pressures leads the NFL. The "Condor" has been dominant since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, as his 22 career sacks leads all players in his draft class. He was also named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his six tackles and two sacks in the Raiders' season opener overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
All signs currently point to Crosby receiving his shining moment, and being nationally recognized as one of the best in the league with his potential first Pro Bowl selection.
Derek Carr has gotten off to another great start to the season and is putting up some of the best numbers of his career.
The quarterback has thrown for over 300 yards five games this season and over 400 yards in two games this season. His 91.2 percent completion rating against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 was also his highest completion percentage in a game in his career. His hot start led to him being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September.
The number four represents not only his jersey number, but him currently being fourth in the NFL in passing yards (2,826).
Despite the dip in production this season, Darren Waller has still proven to be one of the best tight ends this game has to offer.
This season, Waller is once again leading his team in receiving yardage – tied with Hunter Renfrow – with 494 receiving yards. His 494 yards are also the fourth-most of any tight end in the AFC this season. Waller's 44 receptions are tied for the third-most of any AFC tight end.
He received his first Pro Bowl selection last season after his record-breaking 107 catches. Waller is very popular within the NFL, and will garner a lot of votes at the shot for a second-straight selection.
Denzel Perryman has been one of the unsung heroes of the Silver and Black, and it could potentially land him his first Pro Bowl selection of his career.
The linebacker, who was traded to the Raiders before the start of the season, has been on a tear in the desert. Through nine games, Perryman led the league in total tackles (102) and solo tackles (65). He has more tackles so far this season than he has had in his entire career. Alongside that, he's racked up two fumble recoveries, two tackles for loss and a pass deflection as well.
Yannick Ngakoue is in the process of having his best season since his 2017 Pro Bowl year with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The defensive end was one of the star signings the Las Vegas Raiders made this offseason, and has ran rough-shot on NFL offenses with his buddy Maxx Crosby on the other side of the line. Ngakoue has accumulated a team-leading 6.0 sacks – putting him on pace for his sixth consecutive season with at least eight sacks. He also received AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two tackles for loss and two sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7.
Ngakoue was brought to the Raiders to form one of the best pass rushing duos in the league with Crosby – and has already accomplished that. The two could very well line up on each side once again in their home stadium for the 2022 Pro Bowl.
AJ Cole has been phenomenal this year, continuing to live up to the Raiders' ongoing tradition of exceptional punters.
The third-year punter is having the best season of his career, leading the league in gross average punt yards (52.1). Cole is also top 10 in the league in punt yardage, longest punt and net average punt yards. The NC State alum was also selected to the PFF Midseason All-Pro First Team.
"The results haven't always been as kind to Cole as his kicks have deserved, but no punter has a better combination of distance, hang time and direction this season," PFF's Sam Monson said in the article.
And of course, I can't forget to mention his forced fumble on a punt return against the Chiefs. He should be voted to the Pro Bowl just off that one play alone.
Casey Hayward Jr. has been one of the top cornerbacks in the league for awhile now, already earning Pro Bowl honors twice in his career.
Hayward has been one of the most vital pieces of the Raiders' pass defense since arriving to Las Vegas this offseason. The Raiders are ninth in the league in fewest passing yards allowed, and Hayward has been a big part of that as he has yet to surrender a touchdown this season.