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Raiders rookie watch: Youngsters key to win

Raiders’ draft class contribute to Week 10 victory

Green Bay Packers v Las Vegas Raiders
Michael Mayer, Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

Let’s look at how the Las Vegas Raiders’ rookie class performed in a 16-12 Week 10 home win over the New York Jets on Sunday night as they prepare for a road game at the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Two of the team’s nine draft picks were inactive for the game. Their inactive players were defensive tackles, third-round pick Byron Young and seventh-round pick, Nesta Jade Silvera. Raiders’ interim head coach Antonio Pierce indicated performance in practice will give the rookies a better chance of being active on game days.

Tyree Wilson:

Wilson made no impact in this game. He played 33 percent of the snaps, his second fewest of the season after playing a season-high percentage in Week 9. He had no stat line in this game. So, while the No. 7 overall draft pick has made some strides, he’s still very much a work in progress.

Michael Mayer:

The second-round pick from Notre Dame made the play of the game as he caught a short touchdown (the only TD scored in the game) pass early in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders the lead. It was an extremely athletic play by the tight end. Mayer, who played 88 percent of the snaps for the second straight week, had three catches for 19 yards and now has 16 catches for 178 yards this season.

New York Giants v Las Vegas Raiders
Tre Tucker
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Tre Tucker:

Tucker was on the field for 23 percent of the offensive plays and had one run for nine yards. He had no targets. The Cincinnati product for now, is a rotational piece for this offense, but his speed will be exploited from time to time.

Jakorian Bennett:

The early-season starter played 55 percent of the snaps Sunday after starting cornerback Amik Robertson went out with a concussion. That injury could mean Bennett will play a lot at Miami against the Dolphins’ potent passing game. The fourth-round pick from Maryland had four tackles against the Jets.

Aidan O’Connell:

O’Connell took some rookie lumps against a very good defense, but he delivered big with the pass to Mayer and also made some nice connections with star receiver Davante Adams. All in all, the fourth-round pick from Purdue did enough to help the Raiders win even though he committed his fourth turnover in just more than three games of play.

Chris Smith:

The fifth-round pick was active for the fourth game in a row and for the fifth time this season. He played 16 plays on special teams and none on defense. He hasn’t played on defense yet this season.

Amari Burney:

The sixth-round pick didn’t play much after playing extensively for two straight games because of injury. Now that the Raiders are healthy at linebacker, Burney played just seven snaps on defense (and four on special teams) Still, he played well when was needed, so expect him to get some playing time here and there.


As long as the kids help stack W’s, all will be good.