The Las Vegas Raiders may have some new faces along the offensive line in 2021, but it is certainly not one of the worst in football.
Going into the 2021 offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders certainly had plenty of question marks on both sides of the ball. However, the offensive line was not supposed to be one of them, as the team could have returned their entire starting unit from 2020.
That was before Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden started wheeling and dealing, trading away Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown, and Gabe Jackson. While Jackson had long been rumored to be on his way out, and it was clear Brown did not want to be with the team anymore, Hudson was a tremendous shocker.
This was a guy who was not only under contract but is the elite player at his position group and had been with the team through some lean years.
Because of all of these changes, the expectations for the Raiders offensive line in 2021 are low, and Pro Football Focus recently released an article that ranked them as one of the worst in football. While changes are coming, this media outlet is way off in terms of where the group should rank among their peers this season.
Raiders should be more than solid along the offensive line
Looking at the group as a whole, there is a lot to like, including Kolton Miller, who is one of the better young left tackles in the game. Richie Incognito is rated as a top returning offensive guard, and Alex Leatherwood should be able to come in and play well as a rookie in 2021.
Sure, Leatherwood is a question mark, as is Andre James, who is replacing Hudson, but Denzelle Good should be a more than capable replacement for Denzelle Good. As a group, it is going to look different, but that does not mean it should be ranked as the No. 26 unit out of 32 heading into the summer.
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The Raiders have long had continuity up front along the offensive line, and while that will change in 2021, it is not like the players stepping in are below average. In fact, the line struggled with injuries and inconsistent play in 2020, so maybe revamping the unit won’t be the worst thing, outside of losing a talent like Hudson.