5 things to watch out for

Starting at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET), Raiders football is back. They take the field to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Hall of Fame game in Canton Ohio as the first NFL action of any kind heading into the 2022 season.

With that, here are a few things to watch out for

1. Large Receiving Corps Battle

The Raiders know what they have in Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow. But after that it’s an all out battle for playing time. Mack Hollins got the bulk of the press, but don’t count the likes of Keelan Cole, Demarcus Robinson and Tyron Johnson.

These four receivers bring a different set of skills to the table and hope they will be chosen to line up on the outside at the start of the regular season.

2. Backup QB Division

We’re unlikely to see Derek Carr take the field in this game. More likely, we see the battle between Jarret Stidham and Nick Mullens on full display.

Stidham has the advantage of playing in Josh McDaniels’ offense for the past two seasons. While Mullens is more established, having appeared in 20 NFL games, starting 17 and throwing for 26 touchdowns.

Look first, who takes the field first. Then how long each plays and, of course, how they command the offense.

3. Offensive line makeup

The only spot on the Raiders offensive line that’s locked down for sure is Kolton Miller at left tackle. All other spots are technically up for grabs.

Watch to see who is queuing where and when. Specifically on the right side where guarding and tackling are completely out of balance.

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Denzelle Good’s surprise retirement really opened up the good guard position, while the right tackle simply didn’t allow anyone to grab the position and not let go.

RT’s mix includes Alex Leatherwood, Brandon Parker, Jermaine Eluemunor and Thayer Munford. As for RG, Lester Cotton Sr had the opportunity to keep a starting job, but he’ll have to conjure up rookie Dylan Parham, Alex Bars and maybe Leatherwood or Eluemunor depending on which of them loses the RT job.

And while we can’t give these guys too much credit if they defend against second and third team defenders, if they struggle, it certainly won’t bode well for them.

4. Fill in the corners

Much like the body of wide receivers, it looks like two of the three starting points are set. In this case, it is Rock Ya-Sin and Nate Hobbs whose places are secured.

Questions come first where the team lines up Hobbs. He was exceptional in the slot as a rookie last season, so much so that along with Trayvon Mullen injured, Hobbs was also seen lining up on the outside.

Will they field him away in the game? If so, who takes their place in the slot machine? If not, who starts opposite Ya-Sin at the outer corner? The battle for playing time among those who will adapt tonight appears to be primarily between Anthony Averett, Darius Phillips and Amik Robertson. But there’s still a chance some of the others will earn snaps as well.

5. Opportunities at Linebacker

This week, two of the Raiders’ top free agent additions at linebacker were lost for the season. Kyler Fackrell and Micah Kizer were both sent to injured reserve, leaving the team scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

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While Divine Deablo and Jayon Brown are the top two contenders for playing time at outside linebacker, there are now only two other outside linebackers listed at the OLB – Kenny Young and Luke Masterson.

Losing players to injury is part of the game. When that happens, players like Young and Masterson have greater opportunities to earn a spot on the roster and prove they can be contributors. For them, special teams work becomes just as important, if not more so, than their linebacking game.

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