Starters: Tahir Whitehead, Nicholas Morrow, Marquel Lee
Backups: Jason Cabinda, Kyle Wilber, Cayson Collins
Free agents: None
No one had more snaps for the Raiders defense than Tahir Whitehead. He was on the field for 99.7% of the defensive snaps. Though he easily led the team with 126 combined tackles (89 solo), he was often a liability in both coverage and against the run. They made him their biggest free agent addition last year and gave him his 2019 roster bonus before the end of the season, ensuring he will be a part of their future too.
Morrow was the forgotten man early in the season, but later on, when the team was clearly going nowhere, they looked to the 2017 undrafted free agent find to see if he could prove his worth. He had some fine moments late in the season that hearkened back to him being the team’s top rookie of 2017.
Derrick Johnson was the team’s starting middle linebacker early in the season, but the luster wore off that real fast for the 36-year-old. Pretty soon it was clear why the Chiefs let the former All Pro go.
Marquel Lee took over at the position, but soon he too proved not to be the answer either. By late in the season, the Raiders would opt to not even field more than two linebackers most of the time while Lee would share a handful of snaps with undrafted rookie Jason Cabinda.
Wilber saw some snaps as well, but he is mostly a special teams player. Collins was a practice squad player who was signed last month to a reserve/future contract.
They could probably get by with Whitehead and Morrow at the outside linebacker spots. But as is usually the case, they need to address the middle linebacker spot. Simply going without one 70% of the time is not the answer.
What condition do you think the linebacker position is in for the Raiders?
This poll is closed