Las Vegas Raiders offense has chance to be special in 2020
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders have built their offense around quarterback Derek Carr, and the group has a chance to be special in 2020.
When Jon Gruden was brought in to be the head coach of the then-Oakland Raiders back in 2018, many expected that he would want to make a change at quarterback. Since then, while the rumors have swirled that he and Derek Carr were not on the same page, and Gruden wanted to move on from him, Carr has been a constant in an ever-changing roster.
Now, as they enter their third year together, expectations are as high as they have ever been for the duo, as the Raiders move into their new stadium in their new city. For Carr, he has remained steadfast that he and Gruden are on the same page, and based on what we have seen the last two offseasons, that looks to be the case.
Luckily for Carr, and Gruden, the Raiders have loaded up on talent on offense this offseason, utilizing the draft to bring in quality weapons in the passing game, and in the backfield. After breakout seasons from running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller last season, the Raiders skill positions are set, and Carr has more than enough options to choose from.
Henry Ruggs III will be the WR1 that this team is lacking, enabling Tyrell Williams to move to No. 2 on the depth chart where he can be downright deadly. Hunter Renfrow showed he can excel as a rookie, closing last season with back-to-back 100-yard games, and Waller had 90 catches from his tight end position.
Bryan Edwards was an absolute steal in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, as was Lynn Bowden Jr., arguably the most versatile offensive weapon in the draft class. It was apparent during the draft that the organization wanted to surround Carr with dangerous options, and they certainly did so.
Jacobs should have been the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, as he re-wrote the Raiders rookie record books. Jalen Richard is a dangerous man out of the backfield, and teamed with Bowden, the Raiders are set behind Jacobs, who had to miss time during his rookie season due to a shoulder injury.
Outside of the skill positions, the offensive line is stacked, as Trent Brown and Kolton Miller have formed a solid bookend at the offensive tackle positions. Rodney Hudson returns are the best center in football, and Richie Incognito dipped into the Fountain of Youth after returning to the NFL in 2019.
The only real question mark is right guard, where Gabe Jackson returns as the starter, but comes with a huge price tag, and no dead cap if he is let go. Las Vegas drafted Clemson star John Simpson during the 2020 NFL Draft, and there is reason to believe the All-American could step in and start right away.
Carr has been able to learn Gruden’s system over the past two seasons, and the results have been some of his best statistical seasons of his career. Of course, Raider Nation would take wins over stats, but the weapons are there for Carr to do both in 2020, and it will certainly be an exciting offense to watch.
Overall, the Raiders offense is loaded all over, as the team has the deep threats, the explosive running back, the pass-catching tight end, a bruising offensive, and solid depth behind the starters. If the pieces fall into place, and Carr takes another step forward, the Raiders offense could be one of the best in football.