Las Vegas Raiders: 3 offensive gambles that must pay off in 2021
Starting a rookie at right tackle
Last season, the Raiders went into the year hoping for a healthy campaign from Trent Brown, who they spent so much money on to be their long-term answer at right tackle. After signing with the Raiders before the 2019 season, Brown became a Pro Bowler in the Silver and Black, but he struggled to stay on the field in 2020.
This offseason, the Raiders decided to trade away Brown, sending him back to the New England Patriots, and leaving a hole at right tackle. That hole will be filled in 2021 by a rookie in Alex Leatherwood, a player the franchise selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft to the surprise of many.
The truth is, Leatherwood has looked good since turning pro, but the question remains as to whether or not he can have a positive impact as a rookie. Kolton Miller struggled big time in 2018 as a rookie on the left side, and gambling with a rookie on the right side in 2021 has to work out if the Raiders are to make a playoff run.