Las Vegas Raiders: 3 rookies who could start 2023 Week 1

Michael Owens/GettyImages
2 of 3

Raiders Rookies who could start Week 1: Christoper Smith II, S

Next to Mayer, the most popular selection of the Raiders draft was Georgia safety Christopher Smith II. Smith's presence makes Tre'von Moehrig's days numbered. He is sound against both the run and the pass. He's not injury prone either. He's compiled a lengthy shopping list of accolades during his stellar Georgia career.

Smith only gave up one touchdown last year and was great value on Day 3. He's not as tall as Moehrig or as fast, but the staff will surely favor him over Moehrig to roam around the defense with Marcus Epps.

It's another reason they didn't have to bring Duron Harmon back either. His championship pedigree is exactly what the Raiders need to have on that side of the ball.

Smith has plenty of experience coming from the premiere program in all of college football over the last two years. That will help him transition to the next level more comfortably than most. I'm not saying that he isn't going to make his fair share of mistakes, but Smith will have similar expectations to Tyree Wilson and Jakorian Bennett to help fix the defense.

All three will start at some point in the season, but because of the rotation at safety, Smith appears primed to get on the field faster than the rest.