Nick Kwiatkoski
Nick Kwiatkoski is ready to lead the Raiders defense. After cashing in with Vegas, the pressure is on Kwiatkoski to deliver. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

I think Nick Kwiatkoski was a huge under the radar pick up for the Raiders. Much more of a downhill thumper, but in limited time, Kwiatkoski was really productive for Chicago. He really held that defense together even when the starters went down. Kwiatkoski finally cashed in this offseason signing with the Raiders. He’s ready to be a leader and prove he’s worthy for Vegas.

“It’s an opportunity that I feel like I’ve earned,” Kwiatkoski said, via The Athletic. “I’m excited to see what I can do as the full-time guy. I’ve been through a lot of different changes, position changes and ups and downs in Chicago. So, to come in on Day 1 and be able to have a full season under my belt and show what I can do, I’m excited about it.

“I can’t wait.”

“That’s the role that I played in Chicago,” Kwiatkoski said. “I wore the green dot for the majority of the time that I was playing. I’m very comfortable with that and I’m looking forward to it. … Being in the middle of the defense, it’s what I’m used to.

“I’m excited to get out there and be a leader.”

Kwiatkoski, 27, only started 8 games this past year for Chicago. With Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, Kwiatkoski never really got an opportunity to be the guy. When given a chance, the former West Virginia product did a hell of a job. The good news is Cory Littleton is also coming on board to join the linbacker group.

In 2019, the former Bears middle round pick notched 76 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. He’s one of those players that is just all over the field and really good as a blitzer. It also sounds like, Kwiatkoski will wear the green dot for the Raiders. Regardless, he provides an upgrade over what the Raiders put on the field at the linebacker position last year.