3 Las Vegas Raiders with the most to prove in 2021 Week 1
Andre James, Center
Imagine being a former undrafted free agent with only one start to your career, and then you’re awarded a new contract and starting job, all while replacing a former All-Pro all in one offseason. Well, as farfetched as this may sound, welcome to the life of Andre James.
The former UCLA product was elevated to the starting center position after the trade of the former All-Pro performer Rodney Hudson, but he has been given a vote of confidence since Day 1 of the offseason from coaches and quarterback Derek Carr alike. The confidence even culminated in James signing a three-year extension this offseason.
The Raiders offensive line is going through a complete makeover, and James is one of the highlights, at least according to Raiders personnel. James will be inserted into the starting lineup in Week 1, and despite being largely inexperienced, the 24-year-old will be depended on to help minimize the pressure of the Ravens’ strong defensive line.
Sure, rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood has a ton of pressure on him as well, but he is not replacing the anchor of this offensive line or being tasked with getting the ball into Carr’s hands every play. If he is good, the Raiders are set for some time, but he also has an experienced vet standing right behind him on the depth chart in Nick Martin.