If the Los Angeles Rams’ secondary has a stellar 2023 NFL season, might they owe Davante Adams a thank you? Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Mike Band has Divine Deablo as his candidate to take a leap forward this season with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Rams and Raiders have had joint practices this week leading up to their preseason matchup on Saturday night. Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay believes his secondary will only improve after going up against All-Pro wideout Davante Adams.
Speaking of improvements, one expert believes Divine Deablo could enter the discussion of being a quality linebacker this season.
Plenty of news surrounds the Silver and Black, so let’s dive into the latest.
Did Raiders All-Pro wideout Davante Adams help the Rams’ secondary?
Defending one of the league’s best wide receivers is a good learning experience for any secondary. With hopes of his young defensive backs being sharpened from going up against an All-Pro wideout, McVay was more than happy to be practicing against the Raiders this week.
The Rams have to face some quality receivers in their NFC West division, such as Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf. Thanks to Adams, the Los Angeles secondary got hands-on knowledge this week in preparing for what lies ahead this season.
“What a great opportunity to go against one of the best,” McVay told reporters (h/t SI’s Jonathan Alfano). “If you have a growth mindset and you’re in the mentality that the work pays off, and you continue to get opportunities to challenge yourself, that’s what you love. And I think that’s what a lot of guys have on our team. He certainly is one of those guys that fits that criteria, and I think it’s a great opportunity…”
“That’s how you really give yourself a chance to get better, is you test your tools within the fundamentals and the techniques, and it’s what you love about this stuff, and it’s the same thing for us as coaches being able to learn like I mentioned.”
As for Adams, he already proved last season that he’s not a product of Aaron Rodgers. The 30-year-old posted 100 receptions, 1,516 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Now with a more stable quarterback situation in Jimmy Garoppolo, the veteran can replicate those numbers.
The Raiders’ star receiver has shown he can be a first-team All-Pro without Rodgers. Now the next step for Adams is to display that he can win without the now-New York Jets signal-caller. If Josh Jacobs comes back, paired with the Las Vegas receiving unit, they should challenge for a Wild Card spot.
Will Divine Deablo take another step in his career?
If there’s a significant concern with the Raiders squad, it’s how the defense will perform this season. Outside of Maxx Crosby, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding whether or not the team’s defensive pieces can contain the opposition’s offense.
Will anyone on the defense step up this season to help Crosby? Mike Band, a Next Gen Stats researcher, believes Deablo can take that next leap and become one of the league’s top linebackers.
Why does Band feel that the 25-year-old can take the next step? During the first eight weeks of his last campaign, Deablo ranked among the top-10 in tackles (73). However, a broken arm unexpectedly ended his outstanding sophomore year.
Deablo will likely come into the new year with a chip on his shoulder, looking to pick up where he left off in 2022. If he can stay healthy, there’s no doubt he can be on the same trajectory, and be one of those names that catch people by surprise when talking about who is having a good season.
So what do you say, Raiders fans? Do you see Deablo as the player on the Silver and Black who takes that next step forward in their career? Let us know.
*Top Photo: Silas Walker/Getty Images