Defensive Player of the Year / Newcomer of the Year: Philip Wheeler
Referred to as being a little light in the (behind) to be a strongside linebacker by CSN Raiders analyst Bill Romanowski, Philip Wheeler weighed in just right as the crown jewel of general manager Reggie McKenzie's first free-agent class, thank you very much. Starting 16 games for the first time in his career, the fifth-year linebacker led the Raiders with 150 tackles, 1,015 snaps and had a career-high three sacks. Early in the season, Wheeler began wearing the "green dot" on his helmet and assumed playcalling duties on defense, taking over from Rolando McClain. Yes, Wheeler was a bargain at a reported $700,000, but he is on track to be an unrestricted free agent and will command a hefty pay raise. The Raiders need to figure out a way to re-sign him.