Learning on the job
Silver & Black Illustrated|November 2020
Littleton still adjusting to change of position

Five games is hardly a fair sample size, nor does it allow for fair assessments.

Just as it’s probably a little premature to start throwing Derek Carr’s name into the MVP conversation, it’s equally too early to write off Cory Littleton as a free-agent dud.

While there’s no denying that the expectations were gargantuan after Littleton inked a $36 million, three-year deal when he was the top defensive player available in free agency, the 26-year-old has clearly not made anything close to the type of impact the Raiders were expecting.

Through five games Littleton had 18 tackles, 0 sacks, and garnered an overall grade of just 32.1 by Pro Football Focus.

Several factors have gone into that lack of production.

Littleton spent four years as an inside linebacker in the Rams 3-4 defense, the last three under the guidance of Wade Phillips. He agreed to play the weakside linebacker spot in Paul Guenther’s 4-3 defense in Las Vegas, but was forced to slide inside to the Mike for three games after Nick Kwiatkoski suffered a pectoral injury in the team’s season-opening win in Carolina.

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