Key Raiders to keep an eye on Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers
All offensive linemen not named Kolton Miller
Alright, you got me again. McDaniels isn’t a player, and neither is the offensive line unit as a whole. Still, like McDaniels, this is a key component to look out for.
Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked the Raiders’ offensive line 28th league-wide. In response to the O-line’s poor showing in 2021, Las Vegas did.. nothing. Other than selecting Dylan Parham in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft along with Thayer Munford in the seventh, the Raiders didn’t bring any new faces into the unit.
Miller, Simpson, James, Cotton, Eluemunor, and Barton all spent time with the Raiders last season. Even Brandon Parker, who was poised to start at right tackle before a season-ending injury, spent the ’21 season on the team’s roster.
Needless to say, with such a poor showing last year and no new names on the line, this unit could decide the Raiders’ fate early in the season – and not in a good way, either.
On a positive note, while the O-line struggled mightily one season ago, it didn’t seem to matter when Henry Ruggs was on the roster. With Ruggs, Derek Carr was able to log at least 320 passing yards in five of the Raiders’ seven contests.
Not only did Carr lead the NFL in passing yardage through this timespan, but he was able to finish the year behind only Tom Brady in this category. Carr also completed the second-most passes 20+ yards downfield.
Las Vegas may not have Henry Ruggs anymore, but they have the league’s top wideout.
While Adams is at the top of the receiver pyramid throughout the NFL, it would be wrong of me to ignore the one monstrous change between now and when Ruggs was on the roster: Speed. Tyron Johnson is the only real speed this offense has, and that may affect how quick deep shots develop.
After an incredible camp, Mack Hollins is rewarded by being one of the captains for the Las Vegas Raiders. Who are the other captains? We have the answer.
The Silver and Black could field one of, if not the league’s top offenses in 2022. However, that will all hinge on the offensive line. If the unit shows up, we’re talking top-five. If not, it could get ugly, and fast.