Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans: Players to Watch

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August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa (95) during the third quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Benson Mayowa

To begin the season, Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa was buried deep down the depth chart behind Aldon Smith and Ray Ray Armstrong, but fortunately for Mayowa both of those players won’t be suiting for the Silver and Black for at least the rest of the season. 

According to ESPN.com, Smith is one week into his one year suspension from the league for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. As for Armstrong, he was released from the team shortly after Oakland’s Week 11 loss to Detroit, via CSNBayArea.com

At 6’3″, 240 pounds, Mayowa can play both outside linebacker or defensive end when Oakland lined up in a 3-4, but he has primarily seen snaps at 4-3 defensive end. Though he has flashed at times on the edge against the run, Mayowa’s strongest trait is his ability to attack the passer. Of the 108 snaps he has seen this season 70 have been on passing plays, via PFF.com

In Mayowa’s most recent performance against the Lions, he beat his man for his second sack of his NFL career. 

With the Titan’s two talented tackles in Taylor Lewan and Byron Bell up next for Oakland’s edge-rushers, expect the Raiders’ coaching staff to keep a close eye on Mayowa’s production. If he can create consistent pressure on Mariota and continue to attack the quarterback for the rest of the season, Mayowa could play himself into a new contract in 2016. 

Next: Players to Watch: Ben Heeney