On Friday, the Raiders welcome the Lions to the friendly confines of O.co. While everyone will zero in on Derek Carr and his execution under Gruden, several storylines will unfold. The preseason affords players the opportunity to shine and possibly climb the depth chart. With jobs and starting spots up for grabs, the time to start impressing coaches is now. Game speed differs from practice pace. Moreover, the Raiders are probably tired of hitting each other. In that case, FPC Raiders writers Aspuria, Zaragoza, Richards, and Biggs discuss one player looking to make a splash.
Obi Melifonwu. He is seemingly left in the dust by other safeties — including special teamer Erik Harris. A strong to decent showing may prove not all is lost with the former second-round selection. Time for Melifonwu to dispel the UConn notion (the Huskies produce physical specimens but marginal NFL players).
Arden Key. Reports from camp are great for the former LSU product. He made an awesome move versus 2018 first round pick Kolton Miller this past week that has people around the organization super excited. Key has the potential to be a dominant force for new Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther this season. With the Lions up first, we get to see what he has versus a team that won nine games last year.
I have written about this man before and I am happy to write about him again. I am incredibly excited to watch running back Chris Warren takes the field. Gruden will fall in love with Warren’s build and skill set. Warren appears to be a hard worker and quite versatile as he has proven himself as an acceptable tight end in college.
When Mario Edwards, Jr first arrived in Oakland, the team fancied him a compliment to Khalil Mack. Edwards’ explosion and burst gives the Raiders another line threat. However, injuries derailed what appeared like a solid draft pick. Now, Edwards need to look around him and see what the Raiders did. Reggie McKenzie completely redrafted the defensive interior. Oakland keeps trying to find that three-technique to provide a rush. When healthy, Edwards can excel there. On the other hand, getting healthy remains the largest task. If Edwards can fight the injury curse, he can solidify his role within the defense.