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Raiders training camp: Early winners and losers

Nicholas Morrow is on the rise at linebacker ... Nick Kwiatkoski may not be, though

Las Vegas Raiders Training Camp
Nicholas Morrow
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders have held seven training camp practices, with the last two in pads.

As with every team in the NFL, there has been some early developments with some players taking a step forward with others taking a possible step back.

The operative word here is “early” on both sides. It’s too early to proclaim any players will be have a special role and it’s too early to give up on anyone.

There are still three preseason games and a two-day scrimmage with the Los Angeles Rams before the initial 53-man roster is set and starting roles are decided. With that all in mind, let’s look at some of the winners and losers of the first week of camp in the scorching Southern Nevada desert.

Winners

Casey Hayward:
Hayward has been running with the first-team defense. The Raiders like his veteran presence and the fact that he played in the system of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley the past four seasons. For now, he looks like a starter.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Nebraska
Nate Hobbs
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Hobbs:
The fifth-round pick has been working with the first-team nickel defense. If he beats out veteran Nevin Lawson, the Illinois product could be on the field a lot this season. The Raiders love his presence and savvy.

Nicholas Morrow:
Morrow is getting a lot of love. Morrow, who re-signed in free agency, looks like he is carving out a spot as a starting linebacker with Cory Littleton in Bradley’s defense.

Syndication: Anderson
Tanner Muse
Ken Ruinard / staff, Greenville News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Tanner Muse:
The third-round pick in 2020 struggled in camp as a rookie and had an injury that cost him his entire season. Muse has bounced back and looked. He could get some play in the nickel defense.

Losers

Damon Arnette:
He hasn’t been terrible and he looks to be in better shape. But if Hayward isn’t a starter, that is not a good sign for the No. 19 overall pick of the 2020 draft. He needs to make a move.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Clelin Ferrell
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Clelin Ferrell:
He is not working with the first-team defense. That is simply brutal for a player who was taken at No. 4 overall just two years ago. Ferrell has value and maybe he can work his way in as an inside pass-rusher. But, for now, he is not a starter and that’s not good.

Nick Kwiatkoski:
It seems like Morrow is taking snaps away from Kwiatkoski, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Raiders in 2020. The Raiders expected more from him. If Kwiatkoski can’t get on the field, it will likely be his final season in Las Vegas.

Amik Robertson:
He was drafted in the fourth round in 2020 to be the nickel cornerback in 2021. If Hobbs takes the job, what role will Robertson fill? He could be one-and-done in Las Vegas.