Raiders.com Mailbag: Which linebackers are shining as camp comes to a close?

Here it is, Raider Nation, our final Mailbag of training camp.

The Silver and black took care of business last week, beating the Detroit Lions 16-10 in the preseason opener, but now their sights are set on Saturday's matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

Shout-out to all you guys for sending in your questions; let's get to it.

From @Jubair22: Which LBs are looking best in coverage?

EP: First things first, I think that we should note that across the board, both in coverage and stopping the run, the Raiders' linebackers look to be a much-improved group from 2017.

I know it's just one preseason game, but the Raiders held the Lions ground attack to just 88 yards last week, and the team's linebackers deserve a lot of credit for that.

Anyways, I digress; but here's one linebacker I've been really impressed by all training camp – Tahir Whitehead.

The six-year veteran has been as advertised for the Silver and Black in Napa, being a constant presence around the ball, as well as dropping in coverage when the situation calls for it.

Whitehead made arguably one of the top plays of camp when the Lions were in town for joint practices too, making an athletic dive to bat down a pass intended for a Detroit tight end.

We likely won't see a ton of No. 59 Saturday afternoon against the Rams, but I have zero concerns that Whitehead will be ready to rock come Week 1.

From @LongJohnSports: Who's looking like #2 WR – Jordy or Bryant?

EP: I think it's a bit premature to start assigning priority to one wide receiver or another right now, but I get the general gist of your question; behind Amari Cooper, who's going to get the most run?

Well, if I were to guess, and like I said, keep in mind we're in the middle of the preseason, I'd say that Nelson looks to be that guy.

That's certainly no shot at Bryant, but at this point, Jordy Nelson has been on the field a little bit more, and during that time, he's shown that he's every bit of the receiver the Raiders expected to see when they signed him.

Look, Martavis Bryant has certainly flashed during practice – dude has an unreal set of wheels – but I think at this point, I'd expect to see a lot of Jordy Nelson going forward.

That said, Derek Carr is going to spread the ball around on this offense; everyone's going to eat.

From @theoptimizers How many WRs will be on the 53-man roster?

EP: Head Coach Jon Gruden was asked a version of this very question just this afternoon, and while he unsurprisingly didn't show his hand too much, it's certainly a question that is great fodder for debate.

Last year, the Silver and Black carried five wideouts for much of the year, and while that number seems to be the industry standard, I really wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders carried six.

Let's just take a quick gander at guys in that room, shall we? Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Seth Roberts, Griff Whalen, Ryan Switzer, and Johnny Holton. That doesn't even include some of the younger guys on the roster like Marcell Ateman and Isaac Whitney.

Needless to say, General Manger Reggie McKenzie and Coach Gruden will have some tough decisions coming up as we approach September 1; these final three preseason games will be vital for all the wide receivers, especially those ones not guaranteed a roster spot.

From @KnowHope__ With that debut for rookie RB Chris Warren, where do you think he will stand on the team?

EP: Man, I'll tell you what, if the rookie from the University of Texas keeps averaging close to seven yards per carry, it's going to be really hard to keep him off the 53-man roster.

Now, let's all take a collective deep breath for a second, while Warren was definitely a beast against the Detroit Lions last week, one preseason game isn't going to make or break his career.

Yes, there's a bit of a logjam as of right now in the Raiders' running backs room, but I have a feeling the rest of the preseason is going to go a long way in clearing that up.

I'm just like all of you guys though, Warren showed something special last weekend, and I'm fired up to see if can keep it rolling going forward.

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