Raiders

Raiders Mailbag: Answering Your Questions About Brock Bowers, The Secondary, And More

The Las Vegas Raiders wrapped up their minicamp this past week as they continue getting ready for their regular-season campaign. Newcomer Christian Wilkins gave quarterback Gardner Minshew all he could handle in Day 1 while second-year Raider Jakorian Bennett picked off passes from both Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. The rookies showed out too, with Brock Bowers and Dylan Laube impressing both their fellow teammates and coaches.

And as the Raiders move forward with their offseason schedule, we at The Raider Ramble take the time to answer any questions Raider Nation has.

This week, we answer questions about Brock Bowers and the Silver and Black’s secondary. How far can the rookie tight end go in his first NFL season? Should general manager Tom Telesco look to add other players to Las Vegas’ secondary?

If you have any questions, you’d like us to answer, simply comment on them under our mailbag tweets moving forward, such as the one shown below.

Additionally, you can always shoot a direct message to @AlexMonfreda.

Let’s get to the questions.

Raiders Mailbag: Brock Bowers, the secondary, and more

Q: What position battle for roster jobs will be the fiercest competition during Raiders training camp?
A: 
Quarterback and the right side of the line, absolutely. Aidan O’Connell has earned the trust of his head coach moving forward, but Gardner Minshew was brought in to compete for the starting quarterback role.

On the offensive line, the right side is available to whoever wants it the most. Thayer Munford, Jackson Powers-Johnson, Delmar Glaze and Jordan Meredith will all be competing for a starting role. Don’t forget about veterans Cody Whitehair and Andrus Peat, either.

Q: Do you think Bowers takes the TE1 roll?
A: This is a complicated question, and I’ll explain why. Do I think Brock Bowers will take over as the team’s starting inline tight end? More often than not, no; I believe that’ll be Michael Mayer’s job. But that’s not to say I think Mayer will be on the field more than Bowers.

The thing about Bowers is, he’s simply too versatile. Gluing him to tight end is wasting his talents, and for that reason, I envision Mayer holding down the TE1 role. In any case, Bowers will more than likely total more snaps and thus be dubbed the starter.

More questions

Q: Will Luke Getsy be the scapegoat when the Raiders offense causes the team to win only 6 or 7 games?
A: I know the quarterback situation isn’t exactly ideal, but Getsy is going to have some completely warranted criticisms if the Raiders win only six contests this upcoming season because of the offense.

Even with a so-so-at-best offense last year—as far as production goes, not talent—Las Vegas strung together eight wins. In the meantime, the offense has only gotten better with the additions of Brock Bowers and Jackson Powers-Johnson. Don’t forget that Aidan O’Connell and Tre Tucker now have a full year of NFL experience as well. There’s no reason for the offense to hold the Raiders to only six wins this upcoming season, so if things do play out like that, a move may be understandable.

Q: What do you make of the secondary? Should [Tom] Telesco add another body?
A:
I am and have been a massive fan of the Raiders’ secondary. Last offseason, I took a very deep dive into the team’s secondary and debunked all possible concerns with the unit (found here) prior to the season’s start. Best of all? Each and every core piece from last year remains in Sin City, with stud cornerback Jack Jones being added in the meantime.

Now, do I think Telesco should add another player to the secondary? As far as safeties go, I believe the position group is fine. However, while I’m higher on the Raiders’ cornerback room than most, adding a veteran to the group is a good move. Jack Jones and Jakorian Bennett are the future on the boundary, with Brandon Facyson and Decamerion Richardson serving as viable rotational pieces. But, outside of Facyson, all of these players are 26 or younger.

A veteran such as Stephon Gilmore or, a personal favorite, Ahkello Witherspoon could provide not only great cornerback play but also teach the youth a thing or two. It could be beneficial for the Raiders both now and in the future.

*Top Photo: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun

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