The Las Vegas Raiders have patched every hole in free agency; Almost. The offensive line remains untouched, outside of the re-signings of two players that were part of the line in ’21. Things point to the team not addressing this in free agency, so let’s focus on options in the draft.
Entering free agency, the Las Vegas Raiders had no shortage of holes to patch up. From issues as big as finding a new no.1 receiver and cornerback, all the way to specific roles like a third-down back, the Raiders’ new front office tackled issue after issue.
With all of the units being repaired, there is still one that hasn’t been given the attention needed – The offensive line.
Up to this point in the off-season, two signings have been made for the offensive line. The problem here isn’t that only two players were signed, but rather both players played for Las Vegas last year, where they contributed to the offensive line being ranked 28th.
There’s still ample talent available in free agency, but a few things suggest the Raiders won’t explore any of these paths.
The first reason is the Raiders are running low on cap space. While they surely still have enough to bring in a quality offensive lineman via free agency, Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated claims the team is actively pursuing a “big-name” defensive player.
While the exact player remains undisclosed, it’s likely a big-named player will take up the majority of the remaining cap, assuming a deal gets done.
Although a falling-out may happen in regards to the above-mentioned deal with the mystery defensive player, it shows where the mind of the Raiders’ front office currently is; They’re still thinking defense, not the offensive line.
A second clue that Las Vegas isn’t actively looking for a starting offensive lineman in free agency lies in the Brandon Parker deal. At $3.5m, the Raiders likely aren’t looking for another starting-caliber player, because they shelled out starting money to Parker.
Nothing can be certain, especially not with this front office, but that number is an act of confidence in Parker.
Luckily for the Silver and Black, the 2022 NFL draft is loaded with offensive line talent, including starting-caliber players when it’s the Raiders’ turn to pick in the third round. On that note, here are three immediate impact offensive linemen Las Vegas can grab in the draft.