Raiders: 2022 two-deep prediction for the offensive skill positions
Outside WR1: Davante Adams
After sitting on the topic for approximately half of a second, I believe I’ve successfully narrowed down who the WR1 for the Las Vegas Raiders will be – Davante Adams, of course. Needless to say, there was never a discussion regarding who will be the team’s WR1; Adams would serve that role on any of the 32 teams across the league.
I bring this up frequently, but it’s only due to the impressiveness of such a feat; Over the last two seasons, Adams has appeared in 30 games, totaling 2,927 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. This means, over the last two-years, Adams has averaged just a hair under 100-yards and 1 touchdown per each contest.
Adams’ presence is going to change everything for the Raiders’ offense, but the most noticeable impact from the former Fresno State star will take place in the Red Zone.
Over the last four-seasons, all taking place in the Jon Gruden era, the Raiders have been horrendous in Red Zone touchdown percentage. In both 2018 and ’19, the Silver and Black had their most efficient seasons in this category during this timespan and still ranked 22nd on both occasions in Red Zone conversion percentage leaguewide.
The next two seasons would shockingly be even worse, finishing 23rd in 2020, and 29th this past season – Numbers courtesy of Team Rankings.
Some claim this is a biproduct of Derek Carr, but the Raiders’ Red Zone efficiency ranked 8th in ’17, and 13th in 2016. In fact, before the Gruden era, the Raiders have never found themselves below 13th leaguewide, placing 8th in ’15 and no.1 throughout the entire NFL during Carr’s rookie campaign. In short, no; There was never a problem with converting in the Red Zone with Carr at the helm, prior to Gruden’s arrival.
Others claim Davante Adams will take a step back going from the back-to-back MVP in Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr, but you can check out my piece here that pokes all the holes in that theory, disproving each one. Anyway, Davante Adams is your WR1, Raider Nation.