Gilchrist above Nelson
Coming into training camp, the Raiders had both of their starting safeties from a year ago on their roster. Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson started all 16 games for the Raiders last season, and based on the defensive production, there should have been a competition for starting jobs this summer.
Well, there has been, and Marcus Gilchrist is making the most of his opportunities. In fact, Gilchrist has slid past Nelson on the depth chart, and will be with the first team defense when the Raiders take on the Detroit Lions on Friday night.
Outside of Gilchrist, another safety who has made quite the impression in camp this summer is Erik Harris. Harris has worked his way all the way up to the second-team alongside Nelson, passing guys like Obi Melifonwu and Shalom Luani. It has been quite the ride for Harris, who is a true Gruden Grinder.
The safety group is going to be fun to watch all summer long, and Gilchrist has played well enough to be listed as a starter alongside Joseph. They have a tall task facing one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL in Matthew Stafford, and he will be certain to test this secondary early and often on Friday night.