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Raiders rookie watch: Many inactive against Chiefs

Quarterback had solid day

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

Let’s look at how the Las Vegas Raiders’ rookie class performed in a 31-17 Week 12 home loss against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and look ahead to a Week 14 post-bye week home game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Four of the team’s nine draft picks were inactive for the game. They were defensive tackles, third-round pick Byron Young and seventh-round pick, Nesta Jade Silvera, fourth-round pick, cornerback Jakorian Bennett and sixth-round pick, linebacker Amari Burney,

All four players were healthy scratches. It was the first time Bennett, an early-season starter, was a healthy inactive player. Monday, interim head coach Antonio Pierce indicated that Bennett will have a chance to work back into the playing rotation with veteran Marcus Peters being waived Monday.

Tyree Wilson:

Wilson’s play time increased after a two-game dip. He played 47 percent of the snaps, which has been about the season average for the No. 7 overall pick. One of the reason why his playing time increased was because star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby missed some snaps because he was dealing with health issues. Wilson didn’t produce much, though. He had one tackle. He hasn’t had any quarterback hits in the past three games. It is three quarters into the season and the Texas Tech product simply isn’t giving the Raiders much.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Michael Mayer
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Mayer:

The second-round pick from Notre Dame played 49 snaps for the second straight game. He had two catches for 27 yards on four targets. He has 22 catches on 33 targets this season. Mayer has made some plays. The Raiders need to try to get him more involved in the final five games.

Tre Tucker:

Tucker played just 13 snaps the fewest since Week 8. He had no catches and was targeted once. This game after he was targeted a season-high seven times at Miami after being targeted 10 times in the first seven games. The Raiders don’t seem to have a firm feel for getting the speedster from Cincinnati involved in the game plan on a consistent basis.

Aidan O’Connell:

The fourth-round pick from Purdue bounced back against the Chiefs after a tough outing at Miami when he threw three interceptions and had six in just over four games of play. O’Connell didn’t commit any turnovers against the Chiefs. His play (like the entire Las Vegas offense) slowed down after the Raiders took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. O’Connell is still growing, but the fact that he took care of the ball was a good sign and something to build on.

Chris Smith:

The fifth-round pick was active for the sixth game in a row and for the seventh time this season. He played 19 plays on special teams and none on defense. He hasn’t played on defense yet this season.


When the Raiders return from the bye and go down the stretch, it would be nice to see this class get more involved and more productive.