Las Vegas Raiders: 3 position groups that could be an issue in 2021
For the past five years, the Las Vegas offensive line has been one of the best in football. But they’ve also been the highest paid, which led to the Vegas trading away starting linemen Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson, and Rodney Hudson this offseason.
Now, the success of the offensive line lies with last year’s substitute Denzelle Good, and first-time starters Alex Leatherwood and Andre James.
Good should have no problem playing as the starting right guard, as he started at left guard for most of the 2020 season thanks to Richie Incognito’s injury. With James and Leatherwood, there are bound to be growing pains.
James has been a project player that Tom Cable and Vegas have confidence in, but he’s still only had one start in his two seasons in the NFL. Whether or not he’ll be able to rise to the occasion and be the starting center for a whole season remains to be seen.
Leatherwood is obviously a rookie, so some bumps in the road are to be expected. He’ll have to get the kinks out as soon as possible, though. Gruden will likely want to establish the rushing attack using the right side’s blocking ability.
If Derek Carr wants to have enough time to fins Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, he’ll need Leatherwood to block some of the top pass rushers in the divisions, such as Joey Bosa and Von Miller.