Jakorian Bennett, Rakim Jarrett drawing praise heading into 2023 NFL preseason

Jakorian Bennett became the second Maryland cornerback to hear his named called during the 2023 NFL Draft, but with week one of the NFL preseason set to kick off this week, it’s Bennett who continues to draw praise from the Raiders coaches and defensive starters.

“He’s mature, really a pleasure to work with,” Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels said of the rookie corner. “Takes the game very seriously, intelligent, can learn quick and then take it from the meeting room to the field. You’ve seen him compete on some down-the-field throws. It’s hard to run by the guy because he runs very well and he’s trying to get his hands on balls, which we saw in college as well. So, just a competitive guy, good leader, quiet at times when he’s really paying attention.”

“Yeah, he’s fast, like you said. A young guy, he’s fast,” Raiders safety Tre’Von Moehrig said of Bennett. “But that’s really all I can say right now. Like I said, he brings good energy as well. He’s hungry, eager to learn and fun to be around as well. He’s always wanting to be around the football and always wanting to learn.”

Speaking of learning, Bennett has also been attached to the hip of veteran teammate Marcus Peters, who joined the Raiders this offseason after four seasons in Baltimore.

“I tell everybody man, I’m an open book. For you to get the information, you’ve got to go want to go pull it out the library, you’ve got to want to go read it. He just always asks questions. Every question he’s got, if I don’t have the answer, we’re going to figure it out together. Then when we get in the meeting room, he sits right next to me and he still asking questions. That’s how it goes. That’s how game pass down most of the time.”

Meanwhile, New York Giants first-round pick Deonte Banks has ramped up his production in camp over the last week as defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was complementary of the former Maryland star.

“I think he’s been great,” Wink said. “It’s one of those things—corners are on the island. You know what I mean? When you see, he’s on the island and this is the NFL. It’s 50/50 on the edge. He still has that mentality that if he gets knocked down nine times, he gets up 10 and doesn’t flinch. [He] listens, learns [and] Rome’s doing a great job with him, [defensive backs coach] Jerome Henderson.”

Down in the NFC South, Rakim Jarrett has taken advantage of an open wide receiver room in Tampa Bay and was identified as a diamond in the rough by Buccaneers.com earlier this week.

“One player in that position this year is Maryland wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, an undrafted rookie with good size and 4.44 speed who was considered a somewhat raw prospect with a lot of talent and room for development. Jarrett has made a series of standout catches in the first week of camp. Now we’ll see if he can keep it going like [Deven] Thompkins did last year.”

Elsewhere, Jacob Copeland was waived by the Tennessee Titans last week after signing center Jimmy Murray. Spencer Anderson has already been able to flex his versatility with the Steelers, initially lining up primarily at right tackle and swapping in for first-team reps before moving to both left and right guard.

With Nicholas Petit-Frere serving a six-game suspension to start the season, Jaelyn Duncan is in the mix at the right tackle alongside Chris Hubbard, Andrew Rupcich and rookie John Ojukwu. Jamarco Jones, who was also in the mix at right tackle, was released earlier this week after getting into two altercations during last week’s practice.

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