Which Raiders Day 3 picks could earn a starting role in Year 1?

In a recent article naming Day 3 picks from the 2024 NFL Draft who could earn a starting role in Year 1, two of the Las Vegas Raiders’ selections made the cut.

According to Chad Reuter of NFL.com, both cornerback Decamerion Richardson and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg could earn their way to a starting job in 2024.

Here’s what he said about Richardson, who was ranked No. 2 on Reuter’s list:

The Raiders’ cornerback group was inconsistent last season and lacks size, so it was a natural fit for the 6-foot-2 Richardson to land in Las Vegas. His sub-4.4 speed is another bonus at 188 pounds, and though he possesses only average short-area agility, his physical play against larger outside receivers will be useful as he grows into a larger role over the course of the season.

And here’s Reuter’s thoughts on Eichenberg, who he ranked No. 14:

The Raiders found a potential starting middle linebacker in Eichenberg. The former Buckeye probably won’t play in obvious passing situations, but if the offense tries to bully lighter boxes, Las Vegas might want to counter by playing an extra run-stopper like Eichenberg alongside returning starters Divine Deablo and Robert Spillane.

With the Raiders having a much more concrete situation with their starters at linebacker, Eichenberg is far less likely to earn a starting job in Year 1. Las Vegas should be set with Divine Deablo and Robert Spillane, although both are free agents after this season and that could open the door for Eichenberg in Year 2.

The Ohio State product could, however, earn a depth role on top of whatever special teams duties he’ll have.

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As far as Richardson is concerned, he’s in a much better situation. The Raiders still don’t have a sure answer opposite Jack Jones, with guys like Jakorian Bennett and Brandon Facyson set to compete for the job, along with Richardson.

Bennett should be considered the favorite, but after a shaky first season for the 2023 second-round pick, he’s far from a certainly to come out on top.

Las Vegas does have two more Day 3 picks in safety Trey Taylor and cornerback M.J. Devonshire, but the Raiders have their starting safety situation set and it’s unlikely a seventh-round pick like Devonshire will beat out all of the three aforementioned cornerbacks to grab a starting spot.

As is the case with Eichenberg at linebacker, Taylor should have his eye on a possible starting job in 2025, when both Tre’von Moehrig and Marcus Epps are slated to be free agents.

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