We have no reached exactly 8 weeks until the start of the Raiders’ 2017 season. That’s 56 days. There is someone wearing 56 right now for the Raiders. Let’s learn a bit more about him.
LB Xavier Woodson-Luster
This 6-1, 219-pounder went undrafted out of Arkansas State made the All Sun Best second team last season. Any questions about his level of competition were answered when he put up 10 tackles against Auburn out of the SEC.
He could stand to add some bulk to play linebacker at the NFL level, which shouldn’t be difficult. He showed tenacity, ability to shed blocks, and sideline to sideline speed in college which translate to the NFL game. He brought the same skills to special teams, which is likely the area he will need to excel in order to find a way onto the roster. Then again, there isn’t exactly an all star group of linebackers on the Raiders, so the door is open should he stand out in camp.
Who wore it best: DE Derrick Burgess (2005-08)
Originally a third round pick by the Eagles, Burgess was slow to find his stride in the NFL. He had 6.0 sacks as a rookie, but was injured in his second season after just one game. He played in the first 12 games in his third season before going down with injury again, but he returned for the playoffs and was a major factor in the Eagles run to the Super Bowl with 2.0 sacks in the NFC Championship game and another in the Super Bowl itself.
He was an up and comer and the Raiders took a chance he could stay healthy and contribute as a pass rusher. Did he ever. He lit it up in his first season in Oakland in 2005 with 16.0 sacks, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. He followed that up with 11.0 sacks in 2006 and was again named to the Pro Bowl. In total Burgess spent four seasons with the Raiders and they were his best as a pro with 38.5 sacks during that time.
Heading into year five of his contract, he wanted a new deal and held out of training camp. With the injuries starting to become a concern, the Raiders weren't willing to give him the deal he wanted and instead traded him to the Patriots for a third and fourth round pick in the 2010 draft. He would play just the one season in New England, followed by one game back with the Eagles and that was his final game in the NFL.
Though ultimately his contract demands got him sent out of Oakland and later released by the Patriots, the Raiders definitely got the best out of him. And in the end they even got a couple draft picks in return.