Position battles to watch at Raiders training camp

Position battles to watch at Raiders training camp

  • 2020 NFL Training Camp
  • Amik Robertson
  • cornerback
  • Damon Arnette
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Devontae Booker
  • Jalen Richard
  • Jeremy Hill
  • Jonathan Hankins
  • Kyle Wilbur
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Linebacker
  • Maliek Collins
  • Maurice Hurst
  • Nicholas Morrow
  • Position Battles
  • Prince Amukamara
  • Running back
  • Tanner Muse
  • Training Camp
By micah_wright August 4, 2020 0 Comment

Training camp is underway and there are many question marks regarding positions on both sides of the ball for the Raiders.

With no preseason due to COVID-19, training camp is more important than ever for the Raiders. Rosters decreasing to 80 players this year makes it extra difficult.

While no one, including Roger Goodell, knows if we’ll actually have a season, training camp is all that teams can focus on for the time being. For the Las Vegas Raiders, there are many important position battles to keep an eye on.

Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are already making moves as defensive tackle P.J. Hall was traded to Minnesota for a conditional 7th round pick on Monday.


This wasn’t a surprise after Gruden’s recent statement about Hall. It also makes sense with the team adding Maliek Collins who is an upgrade at the position.

Defensive Tackle

Maurice Hurst and Johnathan Hankins will form the three-man rotation with Collins at defensive tackle. It’s the fourth spot that is a mystery.

An interesting candidate for the spot is Daniel Ross who is another Rod Marinelli player. Ross spent time in the Canadian Football League and later found a home as a Cowboy from 2017-2019. He was a very serviceable backup in 2018, appearing in 13 games with a sack and a forced fumble.

Ross missed all of last year with a shoulder injury but should be the favorite to make the team out of the remaining defensive tackles.

Another option is Kendal Vickers who also played in Canada. Vickers went undrafted in 2018 out of Tennessee and failed to make the Steelers roster as an undrafted free agent. After a solid year with the Edmonton Eskimos, the Raiders gave him a workout in January and signed him to the roster.

Lastly, rookie Mike Panasiuk will contend for the final defensive tackle spot. Panasiuk had a nice career at Michigan State as the anchor of their defense. He went undrafted but quickly found a home with the Raiders. He’s a hard-nosed player who will make it difficult for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock when determining the last defensive tackle spot.

Cornerback

Trayvon Mullen showed he can be the team’s top corner after a nice rookie campaign. Prince Amukamara signed this offseason as a savvy veteran who’s been a starter for many years.

The two rookies, Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson are two players to keep an eye on. Whether they can step up to the challenge and be first-year starters remains to be seen.

Robertson will compete for the starting nickel cornerback spot with Lamarcus Joyner. Should he win the job, Joyner moves back to his primary safety position.

With the addition of Amukamara, Paul Guenther is a little more comfortable with letting Arnette develop. He doesn’t have to step in as a starter right away. But they’d obviously love for him to compete and win the job.

Linebacker

Perhaps the worst position on the team the last few seasons won’t be the case this year after signing Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatoski.

The favorite to win the other starting job is Nicholas Morrow who hasn’t missed a game during his three-year career. He made a start in eight games in 2019 after starting in a total of ten his first two seasons. Morrow is also one of just six Raiders who preceded Jon Gruden.

With Marquel Lee being released, there are limited candidates to compete for the third linebacker spot. One option is veteran Kyle Wilber who has been with the team since 2018. Wilber is familiar with Guenther’s system and won’t make it easy for Morrow.

Clemson rookie Tanner Muse can emerge on the scene as well with his ability to fly around and make plays. Muse is thought of as an impact on special teams but he can make his presence known if he stands out in camp at linebacker.

Running Back

Las Vegas has their future at the position with Josh Jacobs. There isn’t a clear number two running back, however. Jalen Richard has owned that role in all four years with the team. However some new faces are looking to dethrone him at Raiders training camp.

Devontae Booker was signed in May but was recently placed on the COVID-19/reserve list after signing positive for COVID-19.

There’s no timetable for when Booker will join the team or if he will decide to go to training camp.

Earlier this week, Jeremy Hill was the latest free agent signing for the Raiders, making him an immediate candidate.


Hill doesn’t have much going for him given that he hasn’t played since 2018 with New England which was only one game. He had a significant drop-off in his tenure with the Bengals after a great rookie year in 2014.

A certain rookie might have the best chance as the team’s number two and that is Lynn Bowden Jr. The exciting Kentucky product did it all for the Wildcats as a quarterback, running back, wide receiver and kick returner. He was at his best running the football with over 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns on 7.9 yards per carry.

Bowden will be used as a running back more than anything but may find more of a role as a receiver as the season goes along.

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