An improved Marquel Lee
Heading into the offseason, the Raiders knew they needed to do something to upgrade the linebacker group. Veteran NaVorro Bowman did not sign with the team, which left a big hole in the middle of the defense.
To fill that void, the Raiders signed former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, and the expectation was he would be the team’s starting middle linebacker. However, a new face has emerged as the front-runner to own that spot, and that is second-year player Marquel Lee.
Lee was not ready to contribute as a rookie, but he has come into year two with a big chip on his shoulder. In fact, in the preseason opener, Lee was the highest rated Raiders player according to Pro Football Focus, as he really turned heads.
The linebacker group suddenly looks like a strength, as Tahir Whitehead has proven to be a beast this summer as well. A lot of people are down on this Raiders defense, but they could be very wrong when it comes to this collection of players in 2018.