3 Raiders Players That Need to Step Up In Week 1

The NFL season started with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Houston Texans. The Las Vegas Raiders will face the Carolina Panthers in their first game of the year, but as always, the defense seems to be in question. This season though, things seem different as the unit has plenty of potential.

These 3 Raiders players will play a key role against the Panthers

​The No. 4 overall pick of last year’s NFL Draft had a decent season. Clelin Ferrell played all over the line. However, his performance wasn’t on par with his draft slot. He totaled 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and five passes defensed. His biggest game was against the Chargers in Week 10 with eight total tackles and 2.5 sacks. He flashed potential in that matchup but didn’t have more than three tackles in any other game of the season.

​Ferrell promised he would come back better than he was last season. Reports stated he put on between 15 to 20 pounds of muscle and he was quicker. At camp, his coaches were raving about him, and in short clips, he drew praise from many. As we know though, practice and highlights are one thing and games are another. Ferrell does seem to have put in all the work he said he would, but now will we see it on the field.

Related: Raiders’ Young Cornerbacks Should Have Their Hands Full Against Panthers

Johnathan Abram

​Is it Salmon or Sal-mon? The star of Hard Knocks 2019 and the brash hard-hitting safety lost nearly all of his rookie season. He played one game but showed something to build upon. He had fans and coaches salivating at what he would bring, but an injury cut that dream short. Abram is a fan favorite, he backs his teammates and shows unwavering support for them. 

Abram won’t have the weight of the defense on his shoulders. He is the vocal leader, but the heart may very well be Erik Harris. Either way, all eyes will be on Abram following his shortened rookie season, and the hype he brought last season. Everyone will be waiting to see if he delivers as hard as he hits come Sunday.

Damon Arnette

​This one is an easy choice. When the Raiders drafted Arnette in round one at No. 19, many eyebrows were raised. There were immediate questions as to why and whether they could’ve gotten him in later rounds. Then, there were the reports that other teams had him rated high as well, so the Raiders seemed to have made a good choice as they did need a corner. Now when you go back and study Arnette, you see the talent and see why the Raiders pounced.

He obviously showed his potential and turned heads in camp as the Raiders were fine leaving him as a starter and dropping Prince Amukamara the experienced veteran. Arnette is playing opposite of Trayvon Mullen and the two young promising corners have fans hoping they can live up to its potential, but they are still young and maybe a trial by fire scenario. Eyes will be on the secondary and they will go a long way in determining the success the team does this year.

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Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports

Top Photo: Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports

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