Which player emerges at weakside linebacker?
A lot of the talk at the begining of the offseason was whether or not the Raiders would be able to bring NaVorro Bowman back into the fold for 2018. Bowman came to the Raiders during the 2017 season, and really established himself as a leader on their defense, but was to be a free agent after the season.
Well, Oakland did not re-sign Bowman, but they did bring in a solid collection of talent at the linebacker position instead. Guys like Tahir Whitehead and Derrick Johnson are going to be big additions to this defense, which has lacked solid tacklers at the linebacker position for some time now.
Whitehead and Johnson will certainly be inserted as starters for Guenther, but the big question is who is going to play on the weakside. Emmanuel Lamur, Nicholas Morrow, and Kyle Wilber will all get the chance to be the third starter in Guenther’s 4-3 defense, and this is going to be a battle that is going to go down to the wire.
The Raiders were weak at all three levels of their defense last season, but bringing in talent like Whitehead and Johnson make the linebacker group legit in 2018. Lamur and Morrow appear to be the front-runners to take that third starting spot, but with a new defensive coordinator in the mix, the coaching staff is going to take a long look at all their linebackers this summer.