October 21, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) is sacked by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Miles Burris (56) in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Linebacker Spotlight

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Sep 8, 2012; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies linebacker Sio Moore (3) reacts after sacking North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders got a steal in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft in Connecticut linebacker Sio Moore. The young pass rusher is more than confident in his abilities. But with the competition at linebacker who exactly will start at the linebacker position for the Oakland Raiders?

Before the draft, Oakland entered free agency with one solid starting linebacker. Miles Burris was a gem himself the year before. The San Diego State alum helped pick up the slack for criminal and former Raider, Rolando McClain. But he needed help from GM Reggie McKenzie in recruiting more talent.

Laying low and flying under the radar McKenzie brought in his classic ‘prove it players’. I say that because they were all signed to one year contracts, and will need to prove their abilities before being re-signed. Kevin Burnett, Nick Roach, and Kaluka Maiava fit the requirements of bottom of the barrel ‘prove it’ players and Reggie wasted no time bringing them aboard. My favorite comparison for them is that they are similar to the 1 dollar movies at gas stations (mostly Nicholas Cage movies).

Looking to take advantage of the new-found strength at linebacker, Dennis Allen will most likely run multiple fronts or a 3-4 defense. This takes pressure off the depleted depth at defensive line. The question is, who will play where and which of the 5 linebackers will ride the pine?

I can definitely see Sio Moore starting right away. The kid looks like a real game changer and may be the biggest impact on the Raider defense (sorry D.J. Hayden, corners don’t see the action linebackers experience). Expect to watch Sio Moore line up on the edge somewhere opposite Miles Burris. This leaves Kaluka Maiava and Kevin Burnett to lock down the inside linebacker spots. I believe Nick Roach will act as a sub who can play anywhere on the field.

This should be a very interesting battle in camp. What does the Nation believe?

What linebacker rides the pine?

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