SiriusXM NFL Radio Host Gil Brandt is high on rookie RB DeAndré
Napa Valley, Calif. — Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez of SiriuxXM NFL Radio Late Hits took the time to sit down and discuss the expectations for the Oakland Raiders going into 2016 and how the team is headed in the right direction.
Over the past few years, the Raiders have constructed their team primarily through the draft. Brandt conveyed that this is an important step in the Raiders' development, because in order to build towards a goal the team must solidify a strong foundation.
One of the key players in this foundation is defensive end Khalil Mack. Although Mack is just a piece of the puzzle, his development is benefitting those around him and is also assisting in their improvement.
"Khalil Mack from the start of last year has made a great deal of improvement. They do a really great job here, the coaching staff, of developing players and you see a lot of 1-on-1 things. This is a much, much improved team since Del Rio [Head Coach] took it over," said Brandt.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio, and his coaching staff, have preached the motto "return to greatness" during their time here. General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Del Rio are putting the team on a path to success by continuing to draft young men and mold them into successful football players.
The 2016 NFL Draft provided the Raiders with seven players who can contribute to the big picture. Players like running back DeAndré Washington and safety Karl Joseph can come into Del Rio's system and make an immediate impact. Brandt is pleased with the rookie class so far, but is especially fond of "number 33, Washington, is a good spot player, he's got a lot of quickness, which is very important today."
As the coaching staff continues to mentor and nurture this young team, the Raiders will need players to step up and be leaders to help this unit get from point "A" to point "B".
"I wouldn't sleep on Bruce Irvin becoming a leader of this team as he continues to work his way into the fabric of it. I think Sean Smith shows a lot of leadership qualities as well, and again a veteran player who has to feel his way around this team, but I think they're going to help step up," said Marvez.
Brandt and Marvez believe that this Raiders team can be a team to watch out for as Del Rio and his crew continue to shape the future of the franchise.