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Raiders Mailbag: Several young Raiders have something to prove going into minicamp

Vancity Raider (@RaiderFan604) asks:

"How has Tanner Muse and Andre James looked so far?"

In short, they have both looked healthy and active so far.

Both players are expected to have a lot in store for them this season. Andre James is competing for the starting center job after Rodney Hudson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, and Tanner Muse is expected to be in the Raiders special teams and linebacker rotation after missing his entire rookie season with a foot injury. While both are competing to prove their worth to the team, they've both looked excited to be on the field and pick things up. Several of James' teammates on the offensive line are very excited to see him get his shot to start and believe that big things are ahead for him.

"That guy just came to work every day, picked up as much as he could from Rodney," said Kolton Miller who's been James teammate since they were at UCLA. "You can see he already had the footwork, already had the fundamentals, he just needed to fine-tune some of the smaller stuff. He's come along a great way. I'm excited for the season. I'm excited for the competition coming up to see what he does.

"First and foremost, Andre is a great dude," adds Richie Incognito. "He's a great guy, he's a hard worker, he's humble, he's hungry. He's got position flexibility, he played tackle in college and then got to the league and played center. I go back to 2019 when Rod [Hudson] went down, and Andre had to come in the game in Houston and we didn't miss a beat. We were hammering them with the ball, we were running on them, we were making a comeback late, and Andre stepped in the next week in Detroit and he played at a high level.

"He's a hard-working kid, he's passionate. He's from humble beginnings, being an undrafted guy, so I'm excited to see him go."

Along with James, many should be excited for Tanner Muse as well. The Clemson linebacker accumulated 192 career tackles (105 solo), four sacks, seven interceptions including one returned for a touchdown and 15 passes defended in his time in college. While initially expected to play special teams, he could potentially ease into an outside linebacker role by the beginning of the regular season.

HarleyB (@LWOSHarleyB) asks:

"Who are the Raiders most impressed with in the secondary so far?"

While one defensive back hasn't impressed any one more than the other, many people have been pleased from what they've seen from the Raiders' 2021 second-round pick out of TCU.

Tre'von Moehrig has been considered one of the biggest steals of the draft so far, as the Raiders were able to snag the Jim Thorpe Award winner on Day Two. Moehrig has put to rest any early concerns so far this offseason and has looked strong and fluid throughout OTAs, and he'll only get better as he continues to learn the defense. He's been able to catch the eye of veteran cornerback Trayvon Mullen and his new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

"Tre' [Tre'von Moehrig] is doing very well," Mullen said. "Happy for him, and I'm excited to see how he's going to transition to this system. And the way he's approaching every day, it's like he's ready and prepared."

"He's got really good range," said Gus Bradley on The Game Plan with JT the Brick. "The ability to cover sideline to sideline, good instincts, not only with the speed to do it, but understanding the defense and how it falls into play for him and when he can take chances."

Along with Alex Leatherwood, I believe that Moehrig will make the most immediate impact out of the 2021 rookie class for the Silver and Black.

Johnathan Shirley asks:

"Will Carr be more of a dual threat this year?"

Derek Carr has become comfortable taking his time in the pocket with the stellar offensive line that has been constructed around him, however last season he showed that he can still make plays with his feet.

After breaking his leg in 2016, Carr has now become more comfortable with running the ball more since that gruesome injury. Carr's 2020 season saw him run for 140 yards, three touchdowns on 39 carries, which were all career highs for him. He was also able to rack up 16 first downs running the ball in key situations.

Coach Gruden has mentioned this offseason that he would like Carr to be more mobile with the offense that is being put together with a younger offensive line and solid run blockers in Josh Jacobs and Alec Ingold behind him. While I wouldn't expect No. 4 to become the second coming of Steve Young in the ground game, his recent play has indicated that you can expect more from him moving forward in all aspects of his game, especially running the football.

View the best photos from the Raiders 2021 OTAs as the Silver and Black turn their attention to next week's minicamp.

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