Las Vegas Raiders: Players to watch during Rams joint practices
Andre James, Alex Leatherwood, and Richie Incognito
I was tempted to just say the entire Raiders offensive line, but the truth is, we know what the team has in franchise left tackle Kolton Miller, and guard Denzelle Good. Those two players performed admirably last season, so during the joint practices, the players to watch are the new guys, as well as their 38 year old guard coming off of a season in which he basically only played one game.
Andre James, Alex Leatherwood, and Richie Incognito will be facing off with a dominant defensive line, which will likely give most teams fits. James is a 2019 undrafted free agent who was handed the starting center position this offseason, and he will get plenty of chances to face off against Aaron Donald.
It is unlikely that James will look very good against the reigning DPOY, but if he seems decent enough that will be a major plus for the Raiders. However, if he looks terrible against Donald and the rest of the team, it could spell major trouble for the team.
Incognito will have his first chance to play competitive football since Week 2 of last season. It will be important to see how a player of his age and recent injury history performs. In 2019, Incognito was one of the best guards in the NFL, therefore, a return to form would be beneficial.
He also seemed to lock down his starting position fairly quickly during training camp, so the coaches must have been comfortable with his performance.
Leatherwood, the team’s highly discussed first-round pick, will also get his chance to show out against a premier front. Coming out of Alabama, Leatherwood was discussed as a top run-blocking tackle, and the Rams were fourth in the NFL in rushing defense in 2020.
He will get his opportunity to prove his worth in the running game, while also working on his pass blocking against Donald and Leonard Floyd. Leatherwood needs a great few practices against a top defense like the Rams to boost his, and the team’s confidence.