The Las Vegas Raiders finally have quality depth on defense for the first time in a decade. Are there still holes on this side of the ball? Absolutely, but camp this year will feature some intriguing positional battles. This is due to a ton of pieces being brought in to upgrade last year’s abysmal unit.
Here’s the first part of the 53-man prediction, which focuses on the offense.
Defensive Line: Carl Nassib, Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Arden Key, Maurice Hurst Jr., Johnathan Hankins, Daniel Ross, Maliek Collins (8)
The Silver and Black struck gold with Maxx Crosby, who helped immediately make this group stronger. With the additions of Maliek Collins, Carl Nassib, and Ferrell coming into camp bigger and stronger, this group can take a major leap forward in 2020. I expect them to add one more body at the edge, whether it’s Jadeveon Clowney or a roster cut from another team, which could put Arden Key in jeopardy. However, these eight guys should make up the Raiders line group.
The Raiders Are Finally Fielding a Competent Linebacker Corps
Linebackers: Javin White, Nick Kwiatkoski, Cory Littleton, Tanner Muse, Nicholas Morrow (5)
Last season, the Raiders entered the season extremely thin at linebacker, I think with the depth they added and the versatility of Muse, they roll with five guys in this group. Kwiatkowski will be the defensive leader, and Littleton is a proven playmaker, however, the dark horse of this defense is Tanner Muse. I feel like head coach Jon Gruden has major plans for him.
Will Young Secondary Shine in 2020?
Secondary: Prince Amukamara, Damon Arnette, Isaiah Johnson, Trayvon Mullen, Amik Robertson, Nevin Lawson, Johnathan Abram, Damarious Randall, Jeff Heath, Erik Harris (10)
Although I think Robertson, Arnette, and Mullen will make a dynamic trio moving forward, it’s likely the Raiders keep veterans Amukamara, Lawson, and Lamarcus Joyner in the lineup often.
Much to the chagrin of fans, cornerback is the toughest position to make a transition to as a rookie. While starting a rookie wouldn’t shock anyone, it’s doubtful considering the depth available. With that said, the Raiders will probably roll with 10 players in the secondary at the season’s outset.
Should the Raiders Sign Clowney?
Rounding Out The Roster
The special teams’ trio of Cole, Carlson, Sieg looks to make a comeback, taking three of the four available roster spots.
With one roster spot left in this article, it’s possible the Raiders add another defensive linemen. Another possibility is that Raiders brass adds a fourth running back as well. There’ll be roster cuts no doubt fingers crossed for Clowney, folks.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal