Las Vegas Raiders: 3 defensive gambles that must pay off in 2021
Lack of depth at the linebacker spot
Looking at the Raiders roster heading into camp, the linebacker position group has three clear starters. Cory Littleton, Nicholas Morrow, and Nick Kwiatkoski will be the starting three in Week 1 against Baltimore if they can stay healthy this summer, and the team better hope they stay healthy all season long.
Behind Littleton, Morrow, and Kwiatkoski are a bunch of question marks, whether it be recent draft picks making a move from safety to linebacker, or an undrafted free agent that has yet to prove he belongs at the NFL level. Tanner Muse and Divine Deablo are making the move to linebacker, and have the talent to do so, but that is a big question mark this summer.
For the Raiders, if one of the top three goes down, the dropoff in terms of experience, and talent is pretty steep, making this one of the more vulnerable spots on this roster. Sure, the top guys could all stay healthy, and this is a non-story, but in a 17-game season, and with COVID protocols, the likelihood of that happening is very small.