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Raiders - Strong Rookie Contributions Aim for Immediate Impact

The Raiders will heavily rely on their rookie class, with three potential starters and major contributors in their season opener against the Broncos.

The previous season was not particularly fruitful for the Raiders' rookie class. Apart from third-round guard Dylan Parham, there were no notable contributions from their draft picks. However, the situation has drastically changed for this season.

In fact, the Raiders may have no choice but to rely heavily on their rookies for today's season opener against the Broncos.

During the draft, it was evident that second-round tight end Michael Mayer would make an immediate impact. He was expected to be a potential starter and receive a significant amount of playing time and targets alongside veteran Austin Hooper.

Since then, it has become apparent that Mayer won't be the only rookie the team will heavily depend on early in the season.

Leading up to today's game, the Raiders officially announced that Chandler Jones and Brandon Facyson would be unavailable. Both players would have likely started the opener if not for their circumstances.

Jones is dealing with personal issues that have resulted in concerning social media posts and his absence from the team all week. On the other hand, Facyson was placed on injured reserve due to a shin injury, making him unavailable for at least four games.

The original plan was to gradually bring along rookie Tyree Wilson, the seventh overall pick. However, Jones's absence has accelerated this process. It is now possible that Wilson could start and, at the very least, split playing time with third-year edge rusher Malcolm Koonce.

Another rookie who could potentially start is Jakorian Bennett, a fourth-round pick, at outside cornerback alongside Marcus Peters.

In total, there are three rookies who may start or have significant roles right from the beginning.

"I'm excited to see these guys go out there, compete, and execute their assignments," expressed Josh McDaniels when asked about the rookies. "We shouldn't expect perfection, as opening day never is flawless. Football is an imperfect sport. We will learn a lot from these games, observing what they do and don't do. It will be an excellent opportunity for any young player."

It remains uncertain whether the rest of the Raiders' rookie class will make substantial contributions. None of the other drafted rookies have positioned themselves as potential starters or guaranteed significant playing time. Additionally, no undrafted rookies made the team this year.

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