The interior linebacking core, led by LB Denzel Perryman, is one of the more riveting stories of the defense at Raiders OTAs. Perryman led the league in tackles in 2021 on his way to a Pro Bowl nod as well. The young rising star, Divine Deablo, showed incredible promise as a rookie. He is a converted safety who now gets mostly middle linebacker reps. Lastly, the Raiders acquired former Tennessee Titans linebacker Jayon Brown this offseason.
Tashaan Reed of The Athletic had this to say about the linebacking situation at OTAs:
“Denzel Perryman and Jayon Brown took most of the snaps at inside linebacker. Divine Deablo participated in practice but was wearing a red non-contact jersey. He was also wearing the jersey during media availability last week. I’d describe Deablo as a limited practice participant, but he did see some starter reps during team drills next to Perryman.”
Although Deablo appears injured in some form, it seems as though there is a clear number one at Raiders OTAs: Denzel Perryman. It is no surprise that the Pro-Bowler will likely retain his starting spot. But the number two spot is still up for grabs, and it should be a tough battle all training camp.
In addition to Deablo’s middle linebacking skill, he offers more than just that. Last season we saw him fill Cory Littleton’s role as the outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. It is reasonable to assume that he may play something similar this season. Whichever direction the coaching staff goes, it’s a certainty that these three guys will play a crucial role in the defense.
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