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Raiders' rookie class continues to earn high marks across the league

The 2019 rookie class for the Raiders was, in a word, good.

Like, really, good.

From Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow on offense, to Trayvon Mullen and Maxx Crosby on defense, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock absolutely crushed their first draft together last April.

Not only did they find players on both sides of the ball – and special teams as well – who came in and contributed from Day One, the duo also selected a pair of guys who realistically should have won Rookie of the Year honors as well.

(You all know it's true)

Now, with all the football for the year officially played, and with eyes on the NFL Scouting Combine in just a few weeks, Nick Shook of Around the NFL looked back at the play of all the rookie classes in the AFC West, and gave the Silver and Black the highest grade of the four teams with an A-minus.

"Ferrell showed promise as a rookie, recording 4.5 sacks, but he needs to be more consistent in rushing the passer," wrote Shook. "Analysis on Abram is incomplete, as he played just one game due to a shoulder injury. Jacobs, however, was an excellent addition, breaking 1,100 yards as a rookie and providing the Raiders with a much-needed bellcow in the backfield. Mullen was a solid corner as a rookie, excelling in run support while also recording one interception. Crosby was even better, recording 10 sacks opposite Ferrell. Moreau served as a complementary but scarcely targeted option opposite breakout tight end Darren Waller. Renfrow made the transition by doing what he did at Clemson: maximizing his talents. The receiver ran sharp routes and found soft spots in the defense on his way to breaking 600 yards receiving and catching four touchdowns as a rookie.

 Johnson didn't see action until later in the season, primarily playing special teams. Bell ended up on Tampa Bay's practice squad. Considering how much help the young Raiders received from a number of picks in this class, they earn the division's best grade, even without the contributions of Abram."

With less than four months until the 2020 NFL Draft, Gruden and Mayock will be hard at work putting together their plans to replicate the success they found in 2019.

And if that is indeed the case, the Silver and Black's first season at Allegiant Stadium could indeed be a memorable one.

You can look at Shook's entire breakdown of the AFC West, and what each team needs to focus on going forward, here.

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