As the season approaches, the Oakland Raiders still need to assess a few things. First, the starting spots/ Granted, most appear locked up and decided. Yet, the specter of 2017 still hangs over slightly. Which starter from last year will lose his job? In addition, which rookie, other than Chris Warren III showed the most promise. To answer these questions, FPC Raiders writers Aspuria and Biggs step up to the challenge.
Which 2017 starter will lose his starting spot, but stay on the roster and why?
Reggie Nelson. The Predator still has the mind, but he does not have the legs. Karl Joseph and Marcus Gilchrist are going to be the starting safeties and the addition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gives Oakland the flexibility to keep Gilchrist at safety the majority of the time. He was dropping down into the slot in training camp and practices. Nelson holds high value as a sounding board for the safeties as he knows Paul Guenther’s scheme inside and out. However, diagnosis and execution are two far away worlds now for the aged veteran. He can think, but he cannot run.
Seth Roberts. Although he only started seven games, Roberts did not enjoy a great season. In the spring, the Raiders shuffled their receiving corps. During draft weekend, the traded for Martavis Bryant. If either Cooper or Nelson falls to injury, Bryant would slide to their spot. In addition, if the Raiders go three-wide, Roberts would find the bench and Bryant would find the field.
Outside of Chris Warren, what two Raiders surprised you with a good preseason so far?
Kolton Miller. The first-round pick was much maligned for being a reach, but so far, so good at left tackle. What is even more surprising is the team’s willingness to not stunt his development at the critical left spot and moved accomplished Donald Penn to the right side. That speaks volumes. Normally, teams cater to the veteran and not the neophyte. 4. Conversely, which Raiders disappointed you and why?
From the first snap versus the Lions, PJ Hall showed the burst that the Raiders expected. From that point on, Hall continued to improve. With his agility resides a jarring power as well. In that case, standing just over six-feet-tall helps him with staying low. Immediately, Hall gives the Raiders another interior rusher to finally help the perimeter pass rush.