Ten Raiders to watch vs. Lions

August 14, 2014, 6:30 pm
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The Raiders were disappointed with their performance against the Vikings in the exhibition opener, and many players would like to showcase what they're truly made of. 

Week 2 of the preseason vs. the Detroit Lions provides an opportunity for Raiders players to rebound or build on last week's showing. 

The following is a list of 10 of the most intriguing individuals to follow in Friday night's matchup against quarterback Matt Stafford and the Lions. 

10) Cornerback Carlos Rogers – The veteran corner was brought in to play slot cornerback, but has been asked to do far more with DJ Hayden hurt. Can he handle the responsibility of playing inside in the nickel and outside in the base defense?

9) Tight end Jake Murphy – With the Raiders down two tight ends, the undrafted free agent from Utah should get some serious playing time against the Lions. He had his best practice on Wednesday and needs to parlay that into a good game performance.

8) Left guard Khalif Barnes – The assumption is that rookie Gabe Jackson will join the first team by regular season’s start. That hasn’t happened yet because Barnes has proven tough to unseat. He’s been good thus far, showing he still has something left in the tank entering his 10th season.

7) Cornerback Keith McGill – The fourth-round pick missed the preseason opener, but will return and play against the Lions. It’s possible, though not certain, that Chimdi Chekwa will miss the game with a knee injury. That could give coaches a longer look at the young talent in McGill.

6) Receiver Brice Butler – The second-year pro is fighting for a roster spot this camp, and has made some nice catches over the past few games. He was solid in joint practices against the Dallas Cowboys, but needs to have similar efforts in games. That starts Friday against Detroit.

5) Running back Kory Sheets – It’s tough to make a mock 53-man roster with Sheets’ name on it. Then you watch him run in the open field and it seems hard to keep him off of it. He looked good against Dallas this week, but a big run or two might force the Raiders to keep him around.

4) Outside linebacker Khalil Mack – Head coach Dennis Allen said Mack, at times, looked like a rookie playing his first game last week against Minnesota. He was late on some reads, which is to be expected for a young player. If he improves from one week to the next, that means Mack is on the right track. If he can make some big plays expected of a No. 5 overall pick, that could wow the crowd.

3) Outside linebacker Sio Moore – The second-year pro put some space into that weakside linebacker battle with a solid effort against Minnesota, including a tackle where he chased a running back down from across the field.

2) Receiver Denarius Moore – The fourth-year veteran had an excellent week and has progressed since the start of camp, but he’s been stuck on the second team. He’d like to work his way back into the starting lineup, especially in a contract year.

1) Quarterback Matt Schaub – The veteran quarterback needs to help the passing game progress. It’s a bit behind right now -– that’s not all Schaub’s fault -– and a good showing will give the air attack some confidence heading into the last two preseason games.