Projecting the Ceiling, Floor for the Oakland Raiders in 2014

After a busy offseason, the Oakland Raiders have one of the NFL’s most improved rosters heading into the 2014 season.

The important part—for everyone in the organization—is what that talent improvement will get the team in the win column this season.

Of course, a number of factors play a role in a given team’s success over the course of a season, leaving a relatively sizable gap between projected ceilings and floors.

Here is a look at the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Raiders' 2014 season.


The Ceiling: (9-7)

There is a very real possibility that the Silver and Black make significant and immediate improvements over years past, possibly even allowing them to compete for a playoff spot at season’s end.

Impressive hauls in both free agency and the draft have addressed a number of problem areas on the roster, allowing the potential for former positions of need to become strengths of the team moving forward.

For example, the front office’s intentions of upgrading in the trenches on both sides of the ball have become clear over the past few months.

The offensive line, despite losing Jared Veldheer early in free agency, looks to have improved as a whole, adding projected starters in Donald Penn, Austin Howard and Gabe Jackson.

Such upgrades could push starters from 2013 into backup roles, immediately improving the group’s depth in the process.

On the defensive front, where the Raiders staff did their most important work, additions of Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith, and Khalil Mack will go a long way toward addressing a pass rush that needed help in the worst way.

Of course, the addition of Matt Schaub, should he return to his pre-2013 play, would give the offense the kind of veteran leader it needs throughout the season as well.

Because ma...

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