Las Vegas Raiders first 2022 depth chart is full of surprises
No match to defensive scheme
This depth chart is nothing more than a rough draft of things. So rough, in fact, that it isn’t even catered to the Raiders’ defensive scheme.
The Raiders will be running a 3-4 (hybrid with 4-3 when applicable, although will retain a base 3-4 look), yet this depth chart features 2 DTs, 1 ILB, and 2 cornerbacks.
The cornerbacks are an entire issue in itself. The standard we’ve all come to know is two corners, both on the outside, but nickelback Nate Hobbs is making it impossible to not put him on the field. In 2021, Hobbs posted the no.1 grade via PFF of all cornerbacks when lined up in the slot (81.5). Hobbs’ 68-yards allowed when in man coverage was the lowest among rookie cornerbacks in ’21.
Josh McDaniels has said Hobbs will have the chance to compete as an outside corner this upcoming season, and through camp he’s rotated both inside and outside, holding his own and breaking up passes to both Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams. Taking a look at this depth chart, Hobbs takes over as the second outside cornerback, above Trayvon Mullen.
But where is Trayvon Mullen on this depth chart? Well, that’s another reason why the cornerbacks are an entire issue in themselves. Mullen is listed as the last cornerback in the rotation as he’s currently battling an injury.
However, Micah Kiser is still quite high this depth chart despite being designated to the Injury Reserves list (unlike Mullen, who is still eligible to play for the Raiders’ in 2022), so that’s a question mark. A closer look reveals edge rusher Kyler Fackrell, who’s also on the IR list, is nowhere to be found on the depth chart. The most likely scenario is the team hasn’t gotten there yet with Kiser.
The point here: Don’t take this depth chart for face value.
It’s unlikely Hobbs will take Mullen’s job, considering Hobbs was so successful in the slot last season, and Mullen is [falsely] so low on the depth chart. While the Raiders’ are going to run a base 3-4, it’s still likely the team will run only three linebackers, being Hobbs will take the place of the fourth linebacker more often than not – Similar to the 2021 Raiders, when Hobbs forced K.J. Wright to take a less snap intensive role.