Las Vegas Raiders: 3 things to watch for in 2021 preseason Game No. 1
Potential of the Offensive Line
We will first start off by saying for the Nick Martin fans out there, he will not be starting over Andre James at center. James has been the newly trusted center of choice for Derek Carr and was rewarded with a new contract this offseason.
It was a risk for the Raiders considering the 24-year-old has started one game throughout his career, but if the risk pays off, then the Raiders surely got a bargain. Expect to see James out there, and while we are not sure for how long, he will get some reps.
Next to James, we will get to see second-year guard John Simpson out of Clemson. He will not be starting at any of the guard spots this season as those positions are solidified by Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good, but we will see him play in heavier doses this season. Also, with the age of Incognito (38), it would seem that Simpson has the inside track on eventually replacing the former Pro Bowl player.
I would not expect to see any of Incognito on the field this weekend, but plenty of Simpson. With the Raiders trading up to take the former college All-American with a fourth-round pick last year, he obviously has a future the Raiders do believe in.
Simpson has the chance to show he is not merely a project and is ready to play at the next level.
Of the 252 snaps Simpson played on last year, he was not that impressive, but now with a full training camp and year under his belt, he should be improving significantly. Expect to see plenty of Simpson, and in a much better capacity than Raiders, fans saw last season.
The Las Vegas Raiders will eventually have to get the roster to 53 men heading into Week 1, so what is the deal with Nathan Peterman?
Gruden also stated this week that we will see Alex Leatherwood, who has been outstanding since being taken in the first round this past April. Leatherwood is the team’s starting right tackle in 2021, and he gets his first pro action against Seattle.