RaiderRamble.com takes a look at some of the defensive bright spots to take away, despite another preseason loss.
The Oakland Raiders are now 0-3 in this year’s NFL Preseason, and despite what pundits are saying, the defense has shown some young, bright spots that we can look forward to seeing.
While there’s little argument that this team will go as far as quarterback Derek Carr will take them, the defense will have to do its part, and in spite of the final score, the first team defense did a solid job yesterday. What’s impressing so far in the preseason is the youngsters on the squad, as we all know this defense is anchored by the likes of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.
Some of those youngsters will probably make the final roster after such impressive preseason performances. Moreover, let’s face it, with all the questions surrounding the defense, some solid depth might be one of the deciding factors as the season begins to wind down and no doubt some of these players will be there to help the team get over the hump.
One of the most noteworthy performances yesterday was by rookie defensive lineman Treyvon Hester, who was predicted to have a good game by RaiderRamble.com and didn’t disappoint.
PFF gave Hester a player rating of 78.6 by the end of the game as he totaled one sack and one tackle, Hester was coming off a two sack performance against the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason opener, only to come back down to earth with just one tackle against the Los Angeles Rams last week. However, with some playing time, Hester will undoubtedly be a disruptive force this season, playing alongside Eddie Vanderdoes and Mario Edwards Jr. on that defensive line.
One of the biggest surprises for the Raiders this preseason has been the emergence of safety Shalom Luani. Another seventh round pick alongside Hester, who’s been making waves with his stellar play. In fact, yesterday’s performance garnered Luani a player rating of 84.6 as he impressed Raider Nation with six total tackles in the backfield and allowed just two catches for ten yards as reported by PFF.
While most of the media’s attention has surrounded when Obi Melifonwu will play and how much Reggie Nelson has left in the tank, Luani has quietly emerged as a potential starter and more than likely a lock to make the final roster.
While many fans believe the defense is in big trouble, it is easy to forget that this is preseason. Star players and those who are expected to see starting roles are pulled from the game early or by halftime. This unit led by Mack will be okay, and with such impressive depth to back him up, the defense will hold up their end come seasons’ start.