Will Amari Cooper join the NFL's elite?
After setting franchise rookie records for receptions, yards and 100-yard games, the soft-spoken Cooper has given Derek Carr the No. 1 receiver he needs. A foot injury slowed him late last year and the near-consensus opinion is that he'll be even better this season. With improved chemistry between him and Carr, don't rule out a 1,500-yard season.
Will the pieces fit?
The Raiders loaded up in free agency with left guard Kelechi Osemele, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson. Adding talent is a good thing, but coach Jack Del Rio needs to make sure those pieces fit well together.
Can the defense fill the leadership void?
Charles Woodson's retirement took away more than just the production of a future Hall of Fame defensive back. Woodson and Justin Tuck, who also retired, were among the biggest voices in the locker room. The offense has Derek Carr, but the defense needs Khalil Mack and/or Bruce Irvin to be the guy.
Will the rookies make an immediate impact?
Cooper and Mack stepped right in as big-time players the past two years, but they were top-five picks. Karl Joseph and Jihad Ward, the first two picks, project as starters and the Raiders are counting on early production from third-round Shilique Calhoun and fifth-round DeAndre Washington.
Is this the year the playoff drought finally ends?
It's been a long 13 years for Raiders fans of not only missing the playoffs, but not even posting a winning record. Last season, they flirted with playoff contention briefly after a 4-3 start but quickly faded. This year, anything less than a Wild Card spot would be disappointing.
VIVA LAS VEGAS?
The Raiders are playing on a one-year lease at the Coliseum (with options for 2017 and '18) as owner Mark Davis tries for a stadium in Las Vegas. Could the year they're finally good again be the year they leave again?
CAN THEY NAVIGATE THE SCHEDULE?
Jack Del Rio has already sounded off on a schedule that opens and closes with three of four on the road. Add in the Mexico City trip and a week in Florida and the Raiders won't have it easy -- as if it ever is.
WILL ALDON SMITH PLAY AGAIN?
The former star pass rusher with the 49ers is suspended until at least November. Smith checked into rehab after a video circulated that seemed to show him smoking marijuana, which could hurt his reinstatement chances.