Let’s round up a few notes on the NFL’s Sin City franchise:
- Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs, a fifth-round pick in 2021, earned nine starts in his first professional season and started all 11 contests he appeared in last year (he missed six games with a broken hand). Working primarily as a boundary corner, the Illinois product regressed a bit from his strong rookie campaign, when he spent most of his time in the slot. Per Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic (subscription required), Hobbs would like to return to nickelback, where he apparently feels more comfortable. However, Tyler Hall, who played in seven games (three starts) for Las Vegas in 2022 after joining the club’s taxi squad in October, is expected to push Hobbs for that role.
- During this year’s predraft process, we learned that the Raiders were eyeing Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson and believed that Wilson (or a similar player) could ease some of the burden on Chandler Jones, thereby making Jones more productive after the veteran underwhelmed during his first season in Vegas. Of course, the club ended up selecting Wilson with the No. 7 overall pick, and as Albert Breer of SI.com writes, the Raiders hope that Wilson’s presence will allow both the 33-year-old Jones and soon-to-be 26-year-old Maxx Crosby to see less time on the field. The coaching staff envisions a rotation among the three players to keep everyone fresh, healthy, and productive. Indeed, Wilson himself saw his final college season cut short due to a Lisfranc injury, though he is expected to be cleared in time for training camp.
- The Raiders also want to create more of a rotation for their running backs. Assuming franchise-tagged RB Josh Jacobs does not hold out — both he and the club are reportedly motivated to strike an accord on a multiyear deal prior to the July 17 deadline — he will obviously be the feature back. But as Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, the team wants to expand the roles of 2022 draftees Zamir White and Brittain Brown in an effort to ease Jacobs’ workload and, perhaps, to begin preparing for a Jacobs departure in 2024.