Raiders 2022 Training Camp: From Sleeper to Starter?

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 14: Running back Trey Ragas #36 celebrates a one-yard rushing touchdown with offensive guards Lester Cotton #67 and John Simpson #76 of the Las Vegas Raiders against the Seattle Seahawks during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium on August 14, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders have had an interesting training camp so far, and these three players could go from sleepers to starters.

Lester Cotton Sr. has been consistently receiving first-team reps since OTAs and it has been a pleasant surprise for the Las Vegas Raiders. Under the old regime, Cotton Sr. bounced between practice squad, active roster, and free agency for 3 seasons, but he looks nearly guaranteed to at least make the team this season, if not start.

The original thought was that Cotton Sr. was simply keeping Denzelle Good’s starting spot warm as he recovered from a torn ACL, but now Cotton is fully in line to be the opening day starter. Cotton will continue to battle with rookie Dylan Parham, John Simpson, Alex Bars, and possibly Alex Leatherwood.

McDaniels has been praising Cotton Sr. and it’s understandable. Cotton Sr. has unique athleticism and now that he’s been with the team entering his 4th season, he is a veteran player. Preseason and padded practices will be major for Cotton’s ability to hold onto that job, but if all goes well, he will have battled his way to being an NFL starter

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