3 Raiders Rookies to Watch in the Hall of Fame Game
The 2022 NFL Hall of Fame Game kicks off this year's preseason action as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders meet head-to-head. Both Doug Pederson and Josh McDaniels will be looking to start off their coaching tenures with a win. Of course, that will only be the case for one of them.
Fans have to be excited to see their first glimpse at the connection between quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams. They won't be the only ones worth keeping an eye on in this contest, though. Here's a look at three Raiders rookies to watch during the Hall of Fame Game.
Las Vegas Raiders Preseason
1. Thayer Munford Jr. (OT)
Thayer Munford Jr. may have been drafted in the seventh round, but he is making a big impression early on in training camp. That has a lot to do with the struggles of Alex Leatherwood, too. Leatherwood has been seeing reps with the third team and it opens the door for Munford to secure a backup role along the offensive line. The 22-year-old was a four-year starter at Ohio State was ended his college career with back-to-back first-team All-American nods. While he played guard as a senior, Munford was the fourth-highest graded tackle in the country in 2020 (Pro Football Focus). His stock could rise with a strong showing on Thursday.
2. Neil Farrell Jr. (DT)
Much like Munford, Neil Farrell Jr. is fighting for a spot higher up on the depth chart. Both Johnathan Hankins and Bilal Nichols are on the Physically Unable to Perform list. That means Farrell will likely draw a start on Thursday and see a majority of the snaps. The LSU product started 12 games as a senior and racked up 45 tackles (9.5 for loss), 1.0 sacks and 29 quarterback hurries. Farrell's ability to fill in the gaps in rush defense may have stuck out the most. The fourth-round pick has a chance to make a name for himself given he is set to face a rookie center across the way in Luke Fortner.
3. Darien Butler (LB)
While the Raiders didn't use a single draft pick on the linebacker position, they did bring in Arizona State standout Darien Butler as an undrafted free agent. He has flashed during camp as someone that plays with intensity and even logged an interception. Butler's performance shouldn't come as a major chock considering he posted 241 tackles (24.0 for loss), 4.0 sacks, 3 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles across four college seasons. With Micah Kiser suffering a season-ending knee injury, Butler has a real shot to make the Week 1 roster as a depth player. Balling out in the preseason would certainly help improve the chances of that happening.
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