If you’re a fan of the Silver and Black, you likely can’t wait to see the Raiders take the field, watching Derek Carr throw to his new weapon Davante Adams. You’ll get your chance to see that happen, Raider Nation, but first comes training camp.
The Las Vegas Raiders have been putting in work through camp, preparing for the first scrimmage game of the 2022 NFL season; A postseason contest in Canton against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Through camp, there’s been plenty of developments. Some have been unfortunate, such as edge rusher Kyler Fackrell and inside linebacker Micah Kiser being placed on the Injured Reserves list, while others have been exciting. The latter is what we’re going to discuss here – Pleasant surprises that stand out through the Raiders’ ’22 training camp.
With that in mind, let’s get into it.
Raiders’ 2022 Training Camp Surprises
3. Tyron Johnson
Tyron Johnson has impressed the Raiders’ coaching staff all throughout camp. In fact, according to the first depth chart released on Tuesday, Johnson – Or T-Billy, as he’s called – leapfrogged Demarcus Robinson.
Johnson’s speed is his biggest asset, running a 4.36 40-time at his Pro Day. However, the Raiders’ receiver has flashed a lot more than just his speed during training camp. T-Billy has showcased an excellent combination of quickness, footwork, route running and catching ability. Head coach Josh McDaniels spoke on Johnson earlier in the week.
“I’m really proud of him. He’s prepared every day and he knows what his assignments are. He has been able to really connect with the quarterbacks and different things. He works hard in practice. He takes care of his body. He’s now becoming that guy that is dependable from day-to-day and that’s a big word for us”
Las Vegas’ coaching staff is exciting for T-Billy, and Raider Nation should be too.
2. Anthony Averett
Averett is bringing a swagger to the Raiders’ secondary that can’t be ignored.
When the 27-year-old has been available to practice, he’s brought all he has. Averett has been matched up against Davante Adams during much of camp, and the former Raven has been making Adams work for every catch.
The first-year Raider has welcomed the challenge Davante Adams brings, knowing the matchup will only make him better.
“I kind of try to get his little secrets and see what’s the things he looks at from me, as far as releases and things like that. I’m learning a lot from him.”
It makes sense that Adams has to work his tail off to catch passes against Averett. Through the first month of football in 2021, Averett’s opposing passer rating ranked no.1 in the league, sitting pretty at an allowed quarterback rating of 41.7.
Pro Football Focus ranked Averett as the 10th-best cornerback leaguewide when playing press.
1. Darien Butler
If there’s any surprise that’s been the bigger than any other through camp, it’s undrafted free agent Darien Butler.
Butler has had an incredible camp, logging the first interception of all training camps leaguewide. Last week, the Arizona State linebacker even earned the opportunity to run with the first-team defense.
The rookie linebacker took full advantage of that opportunity, starting the day off with a hit on running back Brittain Brown that woke everyone up.
According to the first depth chart Josh McDaniels and the Raiders released, Butler will be taking over for Micah Kiser in the inside linebacker rotation. This sets up the 22-year-old to see ample time on the field in 2022, if he can manage to keep this spot.
In college, Butler was a jack of all trades, and has continued being one throughout camp. The ASU linebacker earned the highest coverage grade among Pac-12 linebackers in ’21, and took that to the Raiders as he grabbed the first interception of training camp.
Butler is here, and Raider Nation should be ecstatic.