3 Intriguing position battles for Raiders in 2024

Taking a look around the Raiders' roster as OTAs begin.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

It's officially OTAs szn, which means we're getting our first glimpses at how the Raiders may look when camp officially kicks off in late July. And right now it's just 25 second videos of guys running around in shorts and t-shirts, but any NFL fan will tell you that they'll take whatever – literally whatever – they can get.

Most of the Raiders' roster feels pretty concrete at this point, but there are always places where people are competing. And it's those competitions that fuel fan debates for the next three months, so they've gotta give us something. At first glance, here are the three major intriguing roster battles that'll happen in Vegas this summer.

3 Intriguing position battles for Raiders in 2024

1. Quarterback

Technically speaking, I'm not wrong. When the team signed Garnder Minshew to a two-year deal back in March, the implication was that he'd be battling for the starting job with incumbent Aidan O'Connell, who handled a major bulk of last year's snaps. It seems like they'll probably give the guy who they're paying over $20 million the first and best chance to take the job, but for the time being, it's technically a competition. Then again, it'd be very Tom Telesco-y to sign a QB the second-biggest QB contract of the offseason, only to just have him be a backup to a second-year 4th rounder. Fun times ahead!

2. Cornerback

Right now – at least according to Pro Football Focus – the Raiders' cornerback depth chart is Jack Jones, Nate Hobbs, and Jakorian Bennett. Two out of the three of those guys probably won't be an issue for Antonio Pierce's defense this year. The other is, uh, a different story. Bennett's rough rookie season has been well-documented on this here blog, so we won't pour salt in the wound. But he'll almost certainly be in a major camp battle this year, especially since the team used two of their draft picks to take corners who are supposedly capable of stepping in and playing on Day 1. Considering the relatively weak depth of the cornerback room right now, having a major competition makes sense – it's just a bit daunting with, you know, Patrick Mahomes in the division.

3. Tight end

Has any position on the Raiders' roster been talked about more this offseason? And they signed a QB! The tight end battle is less about roster spots and more about playing time – Brock Bowers is obviously going to get his, and I'd argue that Michael Mayer earned enough benefit of the doubt last year to go into camp this year expecting a bigger role. That leaves Harrison Bryant and Zach Gentry battling for the right to avoid a year of being sent back-and-forth from the practice squad. Maybe Bowers finds a more natural home as a slot receiver and none of this becomes a problem, but the team's ... odd ... approach to this position is going to create some of the more interesting storylines at training camp this year. So at least that'll be fun. Or the opposite of fun. Who knows!