If there is one position on the Raiders that could be their Achilles heel, it is the linebacker spot. The Raiders are hopeful that Divine Deablo will make a leap in Year 3 and that Robert Spillane can be a solid run defender.
But Spillane has been mostly a special teamer and reserve linebacker in his career and Deablo has struggled to stay on the field. The Raiders desperately need more depth at this position and could really use another quality linebacker.
One player that could be a possible solution at linebacker is Curtis Bolton, who played 10 games with the team last season. He is a former UDFA from Oklahoma who has bounced around the league over the last two years.
But in the preseason, Bolton has been a rockstar. According to Pro Football Focus, Bolton was the team’s highest-graded player against the Rams as he posted a grade of 90.6. Here is a snippet of what the site had to say about the veteran linebacker:
This marks the second straight 80.0 game grade for Bolton, who has a great opportunity to carve out a significant role in a relatively weak linebacker room.
While the sample size is small, Bolton is the third-highest-graded linebacker in the NFL through two weeks of the postseason. He’s only played 35 snaps, but he’s been absolutely fantastic in the limited action that he’s seen.
Bolton won’t open the season as a starter, but there is a chance that he could earn more snaps and playing time if he continues to play this well. Keep an eye on him on Saturday against the Cowboys as he could be a sleeper at the linebacker position for the Raiders.