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Raiders Mailbag: Raiders' veteran leadership set to steer this young ship

Edward A Snell says...

"Very optimistic about this year, but like every year, we depend too much on the new guys."

Literally every NFL team depends on their new guys. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just won a Super Bowl with six starting players on their defense under the age of 24.

I would be very optimistic, especially since the Raiders will be getting a lot from their new players. Despite the team still being very young, a lot of the core pieces of the team are starting to grow together and build chemistry. Additionally the Silver and Black have players like Derek Carr, Richie Incognito, Gerald McCoy and Casey Hayward Jr. who can lead the younger players and keep the ship afloat. General Manager Mike Mayock spoke Wednesday afternoon about the joy of seeing the team develop together since his arrival in 2019.

"For Year 3, for me to kind of look back at 2019 and see who's become leaders on this team," said Mayock. "And see some of those guys, like even on the third day of the 2019 draft, guys like Maxx Crosby, Foster Moreau, Hunter Renfrow. All three of them are leaders now; along with Cle [Ferrell], along with Josh [Jacobs]. John [Abram] has been really good. Trayvon [Mullen Jr.] has had his moments. So, that class is kind of growing up and for me that's fun. See them in Year 3, they're growing into men now.

"It's kind of cool to see some of these guys grow up. It was fun watching this year's draft picks. I think they kind of are who we hoped they would be, but we're still in the preseason so we'll have to see."

Daniel Hardin asks...

"Why did you cut Trey Ragas?"

Trey Ragas didn't make the 53-man roster, but no worries Daniel. The legend of Trey Vegas is still alive and well.

After he was waived Tuesday, Ragas was added to the practice squad the next day. Ragas had a very productive preseason and could be a great addition to the backfield in due time. While still on the practice squad, he could potentially find his way on the 53-man roster soon, if Jalen Richard is put on IR. That would leave Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake as the only two running backs on the active roster.

Head Coach Jon Gruden and this Raiders offense are known for loving to run the ball down people's throats for four quarters. With Ragas, they can still accomplish that mission if his number is called.

Gabriel Rideout asks...

"Is Nevin Lawson still on the team or are they waiting to see how Nate Hobbs does in a real game?"

To answer that question, yes to both.

Nevin Lawson is still currently on the team as he was put on the reserved/suspended list where he will stay on for the first two games of the season. With Lawson out, Nate Hobbs could very well be the starting nickel cornerback going into the season as Coach Gruden has hinted at.

The rookie had an impressive preseason with six tackles, an interception and a sack in his two games played. The former Illini showed great intensity and the ability to fly to the ball, something that will benefit a Raiders defense that's struggled the past few seasons.

However, Hobbs is still a rookie and will have a lot to learn once he gets into regular-season action. He will have to adjust to a learning curve for sure. Lawson brings veteran experience that will be very helpful for Hobbs development, so while Hobbs could definitely become the man down the road at that position, both him and Lawson could be getting a lot of playing time this season.

Check into Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center for the Raiders' first regular season practice of the 2021 season.

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