2020 Las Vegas Raiders 53-man roster projection entering training camp
Linebacker (6): Nick Kwiatkoski, Cory Littleton, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Nick Usher, Tanner Muse
Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton are the prizes of the offseason, and will be on the field for the majority of the team’s defensive snaps as the two top linebackers. Most base defenses these days call for five defensive backs and two linebackers, so Kwiatkoski and Littleton are the true starters, with the rest of the group providing depth.
Nicholas Morrow is the official starting SLB as of today, but he will be pushed by Marquel Lee for that third linebacker spot. Both guys have been with the Raiders for a few years now and are known commodities to the front office and coaching staff.
The two wildcard players are Tanner Muse and Nick Usher. Muse was mostly a safety in college but will be making the switch to linebacker in the NFL. The Raiders might be hoping that he becomes the next Brian Urlacher, who made the same switch, but they will settle for a serviceable backer that can cause havoc on special teams and make the occasional splash play on defense.
Usher is a former CFL defensive end who is also making the switch to linebacker in the NFL and presents a different skill-set than the other linebackers, as he is adept at rushing the passer as well. He will face stiff competition from special teams maven and veteran Kyle Wilber, but he may win out thanks to his youth and superior pass rushing ability.
If Usher can contribute on special teams he can earn his way on to the roster.