After a tight 17-16 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, the Las Vegas Raiders only have one more preseason game before they prepare for the regular season.
Before that happens they must trim their roster to 80 players tomorrow, the second cut date until the final 53 players are finalized for the upcoming season. There have been many impressive performances from young players this preseason that should have fans excited.
Best among those has been the play of some of the rookies. Alex Leatherwood, Tre’von Moehrig and Nate Hobbs have all been impressive in particular, each of them making big plays during games and during practices.
Before fans pack into Allegiant Stadium to watch the Raiders play on Monday night in Week 1, there’s still a few storylines worth following. Here’s your roundup.
Short Preseason Results in Limited Time for Starters to Gel
With a big matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football looming in Week 1, many of the Raiders starters have yet to see any game action. This is a result of the shorter preseason and the need for the coaching staff to evaluate players on the bubble of the roster.
With only one preseason game left, it’s expected that more of the probable Week 1 starters will get to see some game action together.
Still, the Ravens are one of the best teams in the league and will provide a big challenge for the Raiders in their first regular season game at Allegiant Stadium with fans. With many position groups overhauled and a new defensive system in place, some game action would have helped to work out some issues.
The Ravens will take advantage of any sloppy play from the Raiders and turn them into points on the scoreboard. There’s going to be a very small margin for error.
Raiders kicked tires on trading for Khalil Mack
Vic Tafur of The Athletic reported today that the Raiders contacted the Bears about a potential trade for Khalil Mack earlier this offseason. Raiders fans will obviously be very familiar with Mack as he was a top-five selection by the franchise and a star defensive player.
Mack was traded under the regime of former general manager Reggie McKenzie in a deal that returned some draft picks and cap flexibility for the Raiders.
The Bears were reportedly not interested in discussing a deal that included Mack. Still, it’s significant that the Raiders were calling and trying to bring back a player who was a fan favorite.
Yannick Ngakoue was brought in this offseason as a pass rusher when the team couldn’t get Mack. While not on the same level as Mack, who is a perennial All-NFL player, Ngakoue has been a consistent sack machine and alongside Maxx Crosby gives the Raiders a formidable duo of edge rushers.
Running Back Competition Heating Up
With the arrival of Kenyan Drake this offseason, the Raiders first two running back slots on the depth chart have been penciled in for a long time. This preseason has left the spot behind them up for contention.
Jalen Richard has been injured but he is the most NFL-proven of the remaining options. His absence has allowed others to get a shot this preseason and they have impressed.
Trey Ragas has been the best of that group as he has made the most of his opportunity. He’s making things tough for coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock as they now have a decision to make.
If management feels like Ragas has proved himself too valuable to cut, what does that mean for Richard’s future with the team? Will they take both or will this be the end for one of these players.
Raiders resign tackle Devery Hamilton
The Raiders have re-signed free agent T Devery Hamilton, the club announced Monday.
Hamilton, the 6-foot-6, 311-pound tackle, originally signed with the Silver and Black as an undrafted free agent in May, spending the offseason program and part of training camp with the club.
The Ellicott City, Maryland, native played one year at Duke (2020) after spending four years at Stanford (2016-19). He appeared in 38 career games with 21 starts, earning Academic All-Pac-12 honors twice.
In additional transactions, the Raiders have released CB Rasul Douglas and G Parker Ehinger and waived P Corliss Waitman.