The Las Vegas Raiders have built their roster up with a ton of players from Alabama, and the offense will lean on them in a big way in 2021.
During the last three NFL Drafts, the Las Vegas Raiders have selected a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide with their first-round pick. First, running back Josh Jacobs was one of three first-round picks for the then-Oakland Raiders, and he has become a star since Day 1.
In 2020, it was speedy wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, who struggled through a tough rookie season last year, and in 2021, it was offensive tackle, Alex Leatherwood. As we turn the page to the preseason, the Raiders are looking to improve on an eight-win season, and on the offensive side of the ball, the former Crimson Tide are going to play huge roles.
In addition to the draft picks, the Raiders added another former Alabama star in Kenyan Drake via free agency this offseason, and he is going to be the No. 2 running back this team has been lacking. Having Drake will enable Jacobs to get some much-needed rest throughout the season, while also using him as a weapon in the run and passing game.
Raiders loaded with Alabama talent
For the Raiders to do what they want to on offense, these four players will have to be at their best, especially Ruggs, as he takes over as the presumed WR1. Leatherwood is replacing a Pro Bowl player when healthy in Trent Brown, and all early indications are that he is more than ready to assume that role.
The wild card here may be Drake, who can do so many wonderful things with the ball in his hands, and if he can keep Jacobs fresh, the offense should not sputter down the stretch once again. Derek Carr has more than a few weapons at his disposal now, and that is not even mentioning an elite tight end in Darren Waller.
The Las Vegas Raiders are a week into training camp and here are five players trending up based on reports from Henderson.
Overall, this is an offense that was one of the best in the NFL last season, and despite the changes along the offensive line, they should be right back up there again in 2021. Carr has proven he can navigate this tough Gruden system, and if Ruggs steps up, with Drake and Leatherwood doing their jobs, look for the Silver and Black to be explosive on that side of the ball.