Predicting the superlatives for the Raiders 2022 season
Rookie of the Year: Dylan Parham
A group of good talent was added to the roster via this year’s draft, but I can’t help but think this is the most obvious prediction here. Dylan Parham is my prediction for Rookie of the Year in Las Vegas, for two simple reasons:
Reason 1. Parham is [in all likelihood] an immediate starter. In fact, of the six players taken in the ’22 NFL draft by the Raiders, he is likely the only one to start.
Reason 2. Tying into the latter half of reason 1, the sheer depth at the positions the other ’22 draftees play is steep.
Let me elaborate a bit here. Of the other five players chosen in this year’s draft, they play at the defensive tackle, offensive [right] tackle, and running back positions. After Parham was selected in the third, up next was fourth-round pick, Zamir White. White, along with seventh-round pick Brittain Brown, both play halfback.
Josh Jacobs is cemented as the team’s starting running back this upcoming season, and it’s hard to imagine Kenyan Drake won’t be the no.2 running back. Furthermore, newcomer Brandon Bolden is almost guaranteed to be the third-down back, putting both White and Brittain Brown in a position where snaps should be at a premium.
A pair of defensive tackles also came from the draft, where there are some notable concerns when it comes to the playtime of the rookies at this position. For starters, it’s hard to imagine Bilal Nichols and Johnathan Hankins won’t be the starting pair of defensive tackles this upcoming year. Beyond that, the depth in this unit is remarkable, currently housing eight players.
Pushing it even further, there has been confirmed interest by the Raiders in veteran Ndamukong Suh, who would instantly become a full-time starter. In saying all of this, there are plenty of rotations made on the defensive line throughout a contest, allowing the rookies to see the field occasionally.
The last of the rookies, Thayer Munford, finds himself buried behind Brandon Parker, Jermaine Eluemunor and Alex Leatherwood, with the latter continuing to play right tackle in camp. It’s still unclear where second-year offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood will play next season, but he will take a starting role, and right tackle continues to be the most likely.
A majority of explaining why Parham has the best chance to have a breakout rookie year hasn’t actually been about Parham himself, but rather the situations other draftees find themselves in. Let’s change that and give the ’22 third-round pick some love.
Although playing all over the line throughout his college tenure, Parham served the entirety of his final year at right guard, where he will likely continue to play at the professional level – At least in his rookie year. During that final year, in which Parham played right guard, the senior at Memphis allowed only two quarterback hits all season, while not allowing a sack in 545 passing downs.
Entering the draft, Parham was ranked 67th on Pro Football Focus’ big board. The Raiders were able to draft him at 90.