On paper, the Oakland Raiders safeties look like an all-around solid group, not lacking for depth by any means. The position group heading into training camp seemed like a lock already, so it was surely a surprise to see a total of six players featured on the final 53-man roster, while a few linebackers and defensive tackles instead were given the ax.
Regardless, it’s important to note that this group looks solid “on paper.” There are plenty of new faces, including the two presumed starters in Joyner and Abrams. The hope is that Joyner takes advantage of Paul Guenther’s system in its second year, leveraging every opportunity to blitz and help a questionable Raiders pass rush.
Abrams can talk the talk as much as he wants, but gameday is a different story. Fans love what they’ve seen so far from the rookie, but Monday night against their division rival Denver Broncos will signal whether he can back it up.
Perhaps four safety reserves weren’t necessary, but one can’t argue they’re lacking at depth now. Joseph and Harris are experienced veterans in the system, and Riley and Leavitt provided insurance in case of injuries.