Fewer Reps: Josh Mauro
The defensive line is the hardest position group to decide who should get less playing time. There is a lot of young talent and a lot of the fat has been already trimmed within the unit. In the spirit of this article, there has to be one and it’s the NFL journeyman.
Mauro has made a career as a run defender but has one of the worst PFF run-defense grades at his position and only two tackles for loss on the year. Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby are the Raiders’ edge defenders of the future and every rep the aging veteran takes stunts the growth of those two young bucks. Week seven was the last time Mauro was on the field for at least 35 percent of the defense’s snaps, so it might be time to just let him go.
More Reps: Dion Jordan
Maybe it’s because Oakland’s pass rush was so putrid last season, but Jordan has looked impressive since joining the team. The former Oregon Duck has racked up two sacks and five quarterback pressures in five games this season. He has primarily been an interior rusher for the Silver and Black but can definitely kick outside as he played on the edge in Seattle and in college.
During Monday’s press conference, Gruden mentioned that Jordan is playing well enough to make the move to Las Vegas and his usage has increased lately so more reps should be on the horizon. Like the majority of players on this list, these next couple of weeks could be very beneficial for the veteran’s future.