Linebacker was a position in flux last season for the Raiders. As of training camp the starting linebackers were Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Nicholas Morrow. By the end of last season, none of them were starters, and now all three of them are now gone.
What the replaced them with were Denzel Perryman and Divine Deablo. Perryman was acquired in trade just prior to the start of the season and the rookie Deablo would take over starting duties late in season.
While Perryman has coverage limitations, he is a stellar middle linebacker and tackling machine. Deablo appeared to be an upgrade over Littleton, but whether he is worthy of continuing as the full time starter remains to be seen.
So, what the Raiders need is a linebacker who can cover and compete to either take over the starting duties for Deablo, or be the third linebacker in those instances when the Raiders field one.
The linebackers could be just what they need and may be on the board when they pick.
Brian Asamoah II, Oklahoma — Round 3
Oklahoma’s Brian Asamoah (24) brings down TCU’s Max Duggan (15) to stop TCU on a fourth down play during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman , Okla., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Oklahoma won 52-31.
Ou Vs Tcu
The words ‘sideline-to-sideline’ come to mind when looking at Asomoah’s game. The 6-0. 226-pounder led the Sooners in tackles the past two seasons, earning second-team All Big-12 last season.
JoJo Domann, Nebraska — Round 3-4
A pass from Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) was intercepted by Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker JoJo Domann (13) during Saturday’s NCAA Division I football game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., on November 6, 2021.
A second-team All-American last season, but a consistent performer the past three seasons for the Cornhuskers. The 6-1, 226-pounder is a former safety and it shows in his coverage abilities as a linebacker. Gives up catches, but does well to keep the player in front of him to make the stop. Also didn’t allow a touchdown through the air last season.
Brandon Smith, Penn St — Round 4
Mar 5, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith (LB33) goes through drills during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
At 6-3, 250 pounds, Smith is a physical specimen. He shows potential in several areas — including as an edge rusher — but is a bit of a project in all of them. He certainly has intriguing tools with which to work.
Terrel Bernard, Baylor — Round 5
Dec 4, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears linebacker Terrel Bernard (2) celebrates with teammates after the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Big 12 Conference championship game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
A first-team All-Big-12 selection, Bernard put up a gaudy 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks while also putting up over 100 tackles. This despite missing a game to a knee injury. He was a team captain and won Sugar Bowl MVP due in part to his two sacks off the blitz.
Damone Clark, LSU — Round 7
Damone Clark 18 makes a tackle as The LSU Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers in Tiger Stadium. Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
Half 1 Lsu Vs Auburn Football V2 1244
How does a Second Team All-American and First Team All-SEC performer fall to the back of the draft? Well, by injuring his back and requiring spinal surgery that threatens to cause him to miss his entire rookie season. The 6-2, 239-pounder has the athletic traits and numbers — 135 tackles, 15.5 for loss — to be a day contribute two pick were he able to right away.