Oakland Raiders: Taking a Look at the Outside Linebacker Competition

The Oakland Raiders' coaching staff emphasizes competition during training camp.

Of all positions where there is competition, the outside linebacker spot is one of the most intriguing.

There are three main players that are striving to get a starting spot: Thomas Howard, Trevor Scott, and Kamerion Wimbley.

However, there are only two spots.

Let's take a closer look at these players.


Thomas Howard

Howard was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second-round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He's only 26, and is barely entering his prime. Thomas is a fan-favorite, and known as a brighter spot to a somewhat lackluster Raiders' defense.

He is by far one of the fastest linebackers in the league, which in turn makes him the best cover linebacker the Raiders have. Towards the end of the 2009 season, he was unexpectedly asked to move to the strong side linebacker position, where he had never previously played.

Howard is valuable to Oakland and a solid starter. However, his status as a starter is now in jeopardy as newly-acquired Wimbley has already topped him on the depth chart. Thomas had a solid 79 tackles and helped the Raiders to be ranked seventh in pass defense, and has seven interceptions in his four-year career.

He has his work cut out for him, but still isn't out of the race to start at either outside linebacker position.


Trevor Scott

Trevor Scott is known by many as being a steal in the draft, after the Raiders picked him in the sixth-round in 2008 as a defensive end. Scott put up impressive numbers as a non-starting rookie with five sacks. In 2009, he improved that number to seven sacks.

Later, Scott replaced Howard at the weak-side position. This came as a surprise to many due to the fact that Scott seemed to be more of a pass-rush specialist who had a good future at defensive end.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders