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NFL analyst names two Raiders rookie defenders who could compete for starting roles

Day 3 of the NFL Draft has been full of good finds for the Raiders.

Since 2019, the Silver and Black have selected multiple players on the final draft day that've become mainstay contributors including three-time Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby, Nate Hobbs, Zamir White and Thayer Munford Jr. Quarterback Aidan O'Connell was also a Day 3 selection last year, and ended up starting 10 games while ranking in the top three among rookie quarterbacks in passing yards, pass completions and touchdown passes.

Chad Reuter, draft analyst for, recently combed through this year's crop of Day 3 draftees and created a list of 15 players drafted in Rounds 4-7 he believes could earn starting roles their rookie season. Of the 15, two Raiders ranked on his list: cornerback Decamerion Richardson and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.

Richardson is one of the most athletic cornerbacks in this draft class, boasting impressive measurables to combat NFL receivers. Additionally, he led all SEC corners in tackles in 2022 (85) and 2023 (79), and earned a 90.3 tackle grade from Pro Football Focus last season.

"[I]t was a natural fit for the 6-foot-2 Richardson to land in Las Vegas," Reuter wrote of the fourth-rounder. "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."

Tommy Eichenberg, the younger brother Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg, enjoyed great success at Ohio State – winning the 2022 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP and the 2023 Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year award.

"The Raiders found a potential starting middle linebacker in Eichenberg," Reuter wrote. "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."

Head inside Raiders Headquarters as the 2024 rookie class arrives for minicamp.

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