I’ve mentioned before how underrated of a free agent signing Gilchrist was because of his versatility. He’s not a star at any one position, but the fact that he can play them all well essentially makes him one. He’ll easily make an immediate impact because of his versatility, but I’m going to tackle another aspect of impact. Gilchrist will most likely start at safety at the beginning of the season, however I doubt that will last long.
Gilchrist has the most snaps as a slot corner over any of the Raiders defensive backs, so he’ll more than likely start to see himself in that role for the majority. That means there will be a need to dip into the safety depth chart, so get ready to see some Reggie Nelson again. The moment the Raiders resigned him I knew he had a good chance to make the final cut because of his familiarity with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Nelson was a successful safety in his system and Guenther recently said during a press conference about how he and his staff were able to revitalize him.
I’m guessing he thinks he can do it again here in Oakland, but I see no chance of that happening. Marcus Gilchrist is a battery. He has two impacts that’ll be a positive and a negative.
He’ll produce at any position and contribute nicely, but his presence allows Reggie Nelson passage to the field. Hopefully Obi Melifonwu can shake off his injury quickly and impress Guenther so we don’t have to suffer watching Nelson play again.