Let’s look at how the Las Vegas Raiders’ rookie class performed in a 26-14 Week 8 road loss at the Detroit Lions on Monday and as they prepare for a home game against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Two of the team’s nine draft picks were inactive for the game. Monday’s rookie inactives were defensive tackles, third-round pick Byron Young and seventh-round pick, defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera.
Wilson played 44 percent of the defensive snaps and had three tackles, equaling his season high that he registered in Week 7. He didn’t have any quarterback hits and has just two on the season. He’s not making a huge impact, but, at least, he has been somewhat active lately.
Here’s the skinny on Mayer this week: He played a season-high 91 percent of the snaps at Detroit with 42 snaps. His highest snap total this season was 57 in Week 6. But it’s clear he is a big part of the offensive plan. He was targeted just twice at the Lions and had a nice 19 yard catch. It was another rough game for the the Raiders’ passing game. Mayer has three catches for 32 in the past two games after having seven catches for 114 yards the previous two games. But it’s clear the Raiders trust the second-round pick from Notre Dame and his production should continue, especially if the team can getting the passing game together.
Tucker wasn’t a big part of the game plan in Week 8. He was on the field for six offensive snaps and didn’t touch the ball. Look, right now, the speedy third-round pick is a change-of-pace rotational player. He hasn’t been a big part of the offense in every game he’s played. But his role will change week-to-week. This was a down week for him.
Bennett returned from an injury, but played just three snaps. Perhaps he wasn’t 100 percent. But it is something to monitor heading into the Giants’ game. The fourth-round pick from Maryland was a starter to being the season, but he struggled prior to missing two of the previous three games with an injury. He’s now a backup.
The fourth-round pick from Purdue didn’t play, but he made some news. O’Connell made his debut as the backup Monday night. The fourth-round pick has been the No. 3 quarterback other than when he started in Week 4 and when he was Brian Hoyer’s backup last week. I’d think he will remain the backup for the rest of the season barring injuries.
The fifth-round pick was active for the second game in a row and for the third time this season. He played 18 plays on special teams and none on defense. So far, this season, he has played 18 snaps on special teams in all three games. So, he has a clear role.
The sixth-round pick made his NFL debut and was pressed into duty because of injuries. Burney was active because starting linebacker Divine Deablo was out with an ankle injury. His replacement, Luke Masterson went out with a concussion. So, Burney played 39 snaps on defense and 11 on special teams. he has sis tackles, four of the solo variety. So, it was a decent start for him. Depending on injuries, we may see more of Burney against the Giants.
Again, this class isn’t giving a lot, but the snaps are the key and some of them are getting valuable experience.