Each week, one Denver Broncos' rookie is singled out to watch because of the matchup before them. This week, it's a first-timer in defensive lineman McTelvin Agim.
While there were cases to be made for Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and especially Michael Ojemudia, Agim stood out with the greater importance.
The reason for that is how different of a quarterback Derek Carr is under pressure compared to when he is kept clean. Denver will also be without its top interior pass rusher making it all that more important for Agim to play well.
In the video above, I break down Agim's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in-depth so be sure to check that out.
Keeping the focus on Carr, when he is kept clean in the pocket, he's one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. He is completing over 75% of his passes (almost 76%) and has an adjusted completion percentage of 81.8%.
Carr's NFL passer rating is 122.3 when kept clean. All three of those stats rank him top-10 among qualifying quarterbacks and two are in the top-5.
But the reason why Agim is the rookie to watch this week is because of how much Carr's poise and complexion changes under pressure. Carr has a 2-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio under pressure, compared to a 14-to-0 ratio when clean.
On top of that, Carr has a 50% completion percentage and a 66.7% adjusted completion percentage when pressured, which put him 15th of 30 qualifying quarterbacks.
Finally, Carr's NFL passer rating is 69.4, which is 17th. There have been 14 sacks on Carr which is 15th of 30 QBs in the NFL, with a sack percentage of 17.1, which is the 11th-highest.
It's easy to see just how different of a quarterback Carr is when kept clean compared to being under pressure. He is one of two quarterbacks to not throw an interception when kept clean in the pocket.
If the Broncos give Carr time, and his offensive line does a good job of doing that, he will pick the defense apart. Intensifying the need for Agim, Denver will be without Shelby Harris.
The Broncos have to get after Carr not just from the edge, but on the inside as well. That's where Agim comes in and the video above reveals why there's reason to believe the rookie lineman can be Denver's secret weapon in Vegas.