The Las Vegas Raiders‘ 2020 NFL Draft class will go down as one of the worst in league history but the 2021 class is proving to be filled with gems. Defensives backs Trevon Moehrig and Nate Hobbs have turned into capable starters and have bright futures, Malcolm Koonce has two sacks in two games and linebacker Divine Deablo has started to carve out a role. Deablo made his first career start against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and while there weren’t many positives to come from the game, he made 10 combined tackles and looked solid against elite competition.
Though he’s only played meaningful defensive snaps in three games this season, Deablo is clearly developing quickly. He was not afraid to call out his teammates after the 48-9 loss to the Chiefs.
“Personally I feel like a lot of people just, for lack of a better term just ‘fold,’” Deablo said Sunday.
“They’ll just lay down, come to practice not ready to practice. I know I’m a rookie but I don’t want my teammates to do that. I want to make sure they’re ready to practice and we bring that intensity every day.”
Rookies aren’t typically the first players to start calling out teammates but it’s telling that Deablo would come out and do it. He could quickly develop into a good young leader for the Raiders.
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Raiders Need to Do Something About These Players
Deablo isn’t trying to stir the pot or start a controversy but his comments are notable. We’ve heard a similar sentiment from quarterback Derek Carr in the past and running back Josh Jacobs just recently called out his team for playing “dull” against the Washington Football Team. At this point, there’s an issue with consistent effort with some players on the team.
It’s unclear who those players are. Carr, Jacobs, Darren Waller, Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue and the other captains are all known to be hard workers. They should be setting the tone with the team but that’s clearly not happening. The Raiders need to do something about these players who are not coming ready to work every day.
Is the Raiders Season Over?
These comments from Deablo shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Raiders have not shown up to play in five of their last six games. What once looked like a playoff team now looks like one of the worst teams in the NFL. Despite how bad they’ve been, they still aren’t out of the playoff race.
Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Browns just became winnable due to them dealing with COVID-19 issues with several key players. They then face a Denver Broncos team at home that they blew out earlier in the season. Those are two games Las Vegas should win and would put their record at 8-7. However, their last two games are against winning teams in the Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts. The Raiders can beat them but their recent play has offered little to suggest that will be the case. Their season isn’t technically over but it certainly feels like the playoffs are out of reach.