When Paul Guenther took over the defense, many had no idea what to expect. Moreover, fans clamored for the big name coordinator to match the star power of the head coach. Yet, so far, all Guenther managed to is bringing a wholly effective scheme. Last year, the Raiders were a train wreck on defense for the majority of the year. With Guenther at the helm now, which players survive cuts?
Khalil Mack: Granted, he is not in camp. Yet, the most talented defender on the team and probably the league. Sooner or later, the contract issue will see a resolution.
Bruce Irvin: Irvin lines up as a full-time end. Under those circumstances, expect 8-10 sacks.
Arden Key: If he can stay out of trouble, look for him to raise hell on third down. Key’s blend of body control and quickness gives tackles fits.
Tank Carradine: Although he primarily stuffs the run, Carradine gives the Raider solid depth.
Shilique Calhoun: From the depths of the bottom of the depth chart, Calhoun gains a spot, due to solid play. In every preseason game, Calhoun flashed and pressured throws.
Justin Ellis: Ellis’ run stuffing and big body will free up teammates. Not to mention the hefty raise the Raiders gave him.
PJ Hall Still early, but Hall shows consistent burst and ability to disrupt rhythm .Despite his lack of height, Hall is blessed with excellent speed and agility.
Maurice Hurst: Like Hall, Hurst displays the skill set of a quicker tackle that will get home.
Mario Edwards: Now, Edwards appears healthy. He edges out Fadol Brown, which may be the toughest cut of them all.
Derrick Johnson: The Raiders will rely on a 35-year-old to lead this group. I hope that Johnson’s legs carry the day.
Tahir Whitehead: In coverage, teams will exploit his limitations. Yet, he sniffs out the ballcarrier with ease against the run. Given that fact, look for him to post decent tackle numbers.
Emmanuel Lamur: Perhaps the quietest free agent pickup, Lamur will also help on special teams.
Marquel Lee: Few envisioned Lee playing a role early in the preseason. However, the second-year player showed a downhill style that Guenther likes.
Nicholas Morrow: Whereas Whitehead brings run-stopping toughness, Morrow plays an athletic style. In coverage, he drops back and closes with decent burst.
Kyle Wilber: In Wilber, the Raiders enjoy a ‘backer that could spot start and excel on special teams.