Its almost here Raider Nation! Oakland Raiders football will be back in a few short hours. For the first time in years there will be position battles at almost every position. No longer will there be veterans who are granted a starting job because of their salary (Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and Rolando McClain ring a bell). The new Raiders are all about competition and letting the best man win. Here are a few players that should be exciting to watch tonight.
Latavius Murray- What more can be said about the big, explosive Murray? I have no clue how Murray fell to the sixth round but he has all the tools to be an explosive running back for the Raiders. The 6’3 223 pound Murray should have the speed of a bruiser but his 4.38 40-yard dash make him a breakaway back. Murray has been out with nagging injuries throughout training camp but he should be healthy enough to play today. The Raider Nation could be seeing a glimpse of the running back of the future against the Cowboys tonight. He is the most intriguing player to watch during the preseason and don’t be surprised if he is stepping over a downed Cowboy on his way to a long run.
Brice Butler – The 6’3 Brice Butler is the type of raw athlete that former owner Al Davis used to covet. Although Butler did not put up big numbers at San Diego state his 4.37 40-yard dash and 40 inch vertical shows that he has all the tools to become a successful player in this league. Butler is an intriguing prospect so I want to see if he can show he has the ability to be an NFL-caliber wide receiver.
Conner Vernon – The 6’0 wide receiver out of Duke was the ACC’s all-time leader in both reception and receiving yards. Which proves that Vernon has what it takes to become a go-to receiver. Vernon is also a high character guy who puts in his fair share of time in the film room. It was because of a slow 40-yard dash time, that Vernon was not drafted. Vernon must show that he could be a solid possession receiver tonight.
David Bass – The 7th round pick has looked like a steal so far for the Oakland Raiders. He has shown the ability to line up in the 3-4 and the 4-3. Bass might be the answer to the Raiders pass rushing woes. If Bass could knock Romo, Orton, and the rest of the Cowboys’ quarterbacks to the ground today, he could earn some playing time this year.
Sio Moore – Sio Moore has brought swagger to the Raiders defense. Moore is the type of player that can change the perception of the Raiders. I am excited to see if his talk can translate to the field. Moore has been biding his time until he can hit an opponent and tonight he gets his chance. Expect Moore to be flying around and hitting anything that moves at the O.Co tonight.
Marquette King – King is probably the most loved backup punter in the history of the NFL. While King had no chance of making the team last season with the presence of Shane Lechler, he was put on injured reserve, partly because Reggie McKenzie wanted to have him for this year. King has one of the strongest legs in the NFL but he also has one of the most inconsistent ones. Marquette King must show that he can punt the ball consistently tonight. If he cannons out a 70 yard punt only to meagerly kick a 35 yard punt later on, he will not make the team.
Charles Woodson – Charles Woodson has nothing to prove and will only be on the field for a few plays but I can’t wait to see his 24 jersey once again roaming the O.Co Coliseum.