Raiders camp preview: Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley are key to defensive line success


The Oakland Raiders’ defensive line was one of the only saving graces in 2013, but it was something that was strong in the beginning and then fizzled out toward the end of the game. The Raiders have signed many a veteran to the roster, but the one standout is Justin Tuck who came to the Raiders and seemed to be the gateway signing as after he joined the roster, many other players signed as well.

Right now, the Raiders have the following defensive ends on the roster. Denico Autry who was signed to the team as an undrafted free agent in May 2014. Autry played at Mississippi State finishing his career with 73 tackles, six sacks, and three forced fumbles. Shelby Harris was selected by the Raiders in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Harris, out of Illinois State, totaled 173 tackles, of which 72 were solo, 14 sacks, and four fumble recoveries. Defensive end Jack Crawford joined the Raiders after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and will be entering his third year. Crawford has appeared in 19 games and has totaled 17 tackles. The Raiders also have Ryan Robinson who is entering his second NFL season. Robinson has appeared in 11 games and has recorded two tackles as well as one pass defended.

Tuck will be entering his tenth season, his first with the Raiders. His first nine years were spent with the New York Giants. Tuck is a two time Pro Bowler and has helped the Giants to two Super Bowls. The Raiders have also picked up Lamarr Woodley from the Pittsburgh Steelers who has logged 299 tackles, 57 sacks, 16 passes defended, five interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and nine fumble recoveries.

Jelly, AKA Justin Ellis, was selected by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and I have to say that I am very excited to see what Jelly has to bring to the silver and black. Ellis comes to the Raiders from Louisiana Tech and has earned the All-Conference USA honorable mention as a senior. Ricky Lumpkin, who was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2011, has been on the Raiders’ practice squad since 2013. Lumpkin played college ball at Kentucky.

The Raiders also have Stacy McGee who will be entering his second season. McGee has 26 tackles and half a sack in his rookie season. Pat Sims is entering his sixth NFL season and in 2013, he started all 16 games and logged a total of 54 tackles (of which 41 were solo) and also two sacks. Torell Troup will be entering his fourth season in the NFL and has recorded 31 tackles and two passes defended during his career with the Buffalo Bills.


It will most definitely be interesting to see what Tuck and Woodley bring to the table as I’ve always felt that Tuck’s signing was the gateway for others to sign with the Raiders. Both veterans have been seen in the bay area working out and just bringing hope back to the Raider Nation. I honestly think that these two will dictate the future of the defense and it will be amazing to see a defense that isn’t too worn out from trying to carry an offensive that is lacking talent.

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