5 possible surprises from Las Vegas Raiders training camp
Erik Harris keeps his starting job
Erik Harris was not a starter coming in to the 2019 season and was firmly behind Karl Joseph and Johnathan Abram on the depth chart at either safety position. Through a series of injuries, Harris was forced in to the spotlight, and responded with one of the better seasons on a struggling Raiders defense.
Harris recorded 74 tackles in 14 starts along with three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns, both of which were pivotal in wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts. He is not currently listed as the starter, and is behind Damarious Randall, but given his familiarity with Paul Guenther’s defense, don’t be surprised if he’s lined up alongside Johnathan Abram for the first snap of Week 1.
Randall may eventually take the starting job from Harris, but the defensive staff may choose to go with the familiar face early on to smooth the transition for the new guys. Safety is one of the positions where the Raiders have the luxury of choosing between two competent veterans, but one’s familiarity with the scheme may prove the difference early on.
Harris went from being a feel-good story last season, to a leader on this defense, and has the respect of his teammates and coaches.