We’re less than a week into Las Vegas Raiders training camp, and second-year player Neil Farrell is already off to a rough start. Should there be cause for concern for last year’s fourth-round draft pick?
With things underway in Henderson, position battles are the talk of the town. Sure, there are some spots that likely already have their starters designated, but there are plenty of jobs waiting to be claimed. One such position that’s far from settled is defensive tackle. Why is that worth mentioning? Well, if Farrell gets back on the field at some point, he’ll have to make up lost ground so early in training camp.
The former LSU product is competing for playing time behind veterans Jerry Tillery, Bilal Nichols, and the recently re-signed Kyle Peko. Breathing down Farrell’s neck is another second-year man, Matthew Butler. If that wasn’t enough, Byron Young and Nesta Jade Silvera were also added to the mix through this year’s draft. Young, unfortunately, is starting his first training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Should Raiders fans be weary already?
Raider Nation is already unsure about general manager Dave Ziegler’s first draft class. There were definitely some gems, but both Farrell and Butler had zero impact on the field. Further clouding the future of these two was Ziegler loading up on the DT position yet again in 2023. Needless to say, Neil Farrell Jr. landing on the Non-Football injury list raised some concerns. As Silver and Black Pride’s Matt Holder pointed out, this is a less than desired start for No. 92.
Not good for a guy who seemed to fall out of favor with the coaching staff last year and enters training camp in a position battle… https://t.co/ZdKvVNKfTM
— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) July 26, 2023
If there’s one thing that’s a saving grace with Farrell, it’s the lack of a surefire starter, or plural, starters. None of the Raiders’ defensive tackles necessarily strike fear into anyone. Tillery had a few moments, sure; kudos to him. Nichols started 17 games but only tallied 1.5 sacks.
The rest of the group doesn’t have that much experience altogether; in other words, not all is lost for Farrell. He understands that nothing will be handed to him, and if he wants to have more than 158 defensive snaps (his rookie total), he’d better get to work as soon as he’s able.
*Top Photo: Official Raiders Website