Raiders: Final 53-man roster projection after the 2022 preseason
Breaking down the offensive skill positions by position groups makes the most sense. For offensive linemen, though, I won’t be following that same pattern. The linemen are versatile and expect backups to be ready to fill in at multiple positions.
O-Line – 9 (25)
- Kolton Miller
- John Simpson
- Andre James
- Lester Cotton Sr.
- Alex Leatherwood
- Dylan Parham
- Thayer Munford
- Jermaine Eluemunor
- Brandon Parker
Analysis: Carrying 8 offensive linemen seem to be the norm these days, but the Raiders need the extra help. In 2021, the offensive line in Las Vegas ranked 28th via Pro Focus Focus. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, the only newcomers (on this 53) are fourth-round pick Dylan Parham and seventh-round pick Thayer Munford. Lester Cotton was a member of the Raiders practice squad.
Kolton Miller (LT) and Andre James (C) are the only two we can be sure start on the line. Simpson appears to be on the safer side, although far from a guarantee, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler let it be known Cotton was on the verge of losing his starting job heading into the Raiders’ final preseason contest against New England.
Alex Leatherwood’s $8 million dead cap hit upon release is too steep to even consider. A trade is still possible, lessening the dead cap hit to just $2 million, but still hard to imagine given his age and lack of help on the right side of the line. It’s easy to forget that Leatherwood has only one full season + one additional preseason of NFL experience under his belt, but that’s all he has.
While Leatherwood has proven to be a liability in the passing game, posting an almost unfathomable pass blocking grade of 29.0 in 2021, the second-year Raider has quietly been a solid run blocker. In 2021, the first-round draft pick was given a respectable run-blocking grade of 62.1 amid his pass-blocking struggles, and during this year’s preseason, that number once again was north of 60.
Jermaine Eluemunor is someone both head coach Josh McDaniels and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo are familiar with. Although Eluemunor played at guard last season with the Raiders, he served as a right tackle in New England. In both of his two seasons with the Patriots, Eluemunor earned a pass blocking grade north of 70. That’s quite the difference from Leatherwood’s 29.0 grade.
Parham and Munford are the rookies who did enough in camp to earn a spot. In Munford’s 40 pass-blocking snaps, the seventh-round pick surrendered zero sacks from his tackle position. This gave him a pass-blocking grade of 72.3, although he did struggle when run blocking.
Most of Raider Nation has given up on Brandon Parker, but that doesn’t matter much. All that matters is how the Raiders’ staff views him, and boy are they high on the swing tackle. The Raiders are so high on Parker that they made him the 18th highest-paid right tackle this offseason. A big reason for that is his swing tackle ability.
Parker is currently nursing an injury right now, but expect him to be on the active roster.