Las Vegas Raiders: 5 things to watch for against San Francisco
Defensive line rotation and the final roster spots
It is far too soon to say that the Raiders have too much talent on the defensive line but we can say with some certainty that they will have some tough decisions to make come final cut date. The starting 4 seems to be set along with the second-string defensive ends, but a few players are vying for the backup defensive tackle positions.
Behind Quinton Jefferson and Jonathan Hankins as the presumptive starters. Players like Gerald McCoy, Darius Philon, Solomon Thomas, Niles Scott, and Kendall Vickers are all vying for the backup slots in that rotation. We have yet to see McCoy play this preseason which may be a nod to his established veteran status but the Raiders may want to see him in live game action before making a decision on his status with the team.
The other four names listed don’t have the same benefit of playing at an elite level in the NFL and will be fighting to make the Raiders roster or put some big plays on film to land elsewhere. Thomas has the upper hand as half of his $5 million salary is guaranteed and Philon has been playing well enough to earn a place as well.
It will be interesting to see who the Raiders roll out there with two weeks left before the regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens and the amount of playing time per player could be a major hint as to who makes the roster.