Oakland Raiders: Many Silver Linings In Loss To Arizona

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Derek Carr /
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Oakland Raiders
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Running back Andre Ellington /

Coming into this season, perhaps the biggest question mark on the Raiders’ roster was at the middle linebacker position.

Last year’s starters, Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley Jr. left through free agency. General manager Reggie McKenzie seems to have put all his chips into developing the young and largely unproven talent at the position.

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The Raiders drafted Marquel Lee out of Wake Forest in the fifth round to fill this void. The weight of responsibility of being a middle linebacker in the NFL is not to be underestimated. Is it at all surprising then that Lee had some rookie moments on Saturday?

In fact, Raiders fans were quick to pounce on Mario Edwards Jr.’s performance in his first preseason game in 2015. However, the defensive end out of Florida State quickly turned everyone into a believer throughout the rest of the season.

Though fans are often quick to judge, especially at such a critical position, Lee still has time to show improvement.

Beyond Marquel Lee, there were positive signs from others jockeying for his spot on the depth chart. Tyrell Adams, a third-year man who was on the active roster last year, had a good outing. He fought off blocks to put himself in position and read plays well.

Adams also showed explosion on a blitz that squished Gabbert like an ice cream sandwich.

Finally, Cory James, a sixth-round pick from 2016, tallied seven solo tackles and a quarterback hit. He was all over the field.