Oakland Raiders: Potential X-Factors In Week Three Tilt With Washington

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Thompson
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Chris Thompson /
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Oakland Raiders
OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Morrow /

Nicholas Morrow

He is a player that came out of nowhere. One that nobody even saw coming. But after picking up Division III standout Nicholas Morrow out of Greenville College, he’s come on strong for the Silver and Black. Very strong.

Through the first two games of the season, Morrow – a longshot to even crack the Raiders’ 53-man roster out of camp – has been Oakland’s highest graded, most impactful, inside linebacker. Simply put, he’s flat outplayed both last year’s fifth-round pick, Cory James, and this year’s fifth-round pick, Marquel Lee.

Morrow has flashed his skills and effectiveness against both the run and the pass and as a result, he’s earning more snaps with the defense. In week one, he got an underwhelming four snaps. Against the Jets last week though, he played 25 defensive snaps – roughly, 46 percent of the team’s 53 total defensive plays.

Next: A Few Keys To A Win Over Washington

And given his solid performance against New York, Morrow is very likely going to see his snap counts increase again this week. Which, given Oakland’s need to tighten up the middle of that defense against both the run and pass, is probably a good thing.

Morrow’s story is a great one. Coming from a small school with nobody giving him much of a shot to make it to the next level, Nicholas Morrow has quietly gone about his business and has improved each and every week.

First, he made it impossible for the coaches not to keep him in earning his spot on the 53-man roster. Now, he’s making it impossible for them to keep him off the field. Morrow’s story is compelling and if the first two games are any indication, it’s not even close to being over yet.

Morrow should be a solid contributor on defense against Washington on Sunday night.