The Las Vegas Raiders will be a team to watch heading into the 2021 season as they have the talent and upside to make some noise in a competitive AFC West.
Offensively, the Raiders were able to surround their current core of Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, and Darren Waller with players like Kenyan Drake and John Brown. The veterans will provide depth for the position groups and give head coach Jon Gruden more options when calling plays.
However, all eyes will be on Las Vegas’ revamped offensive line as the front office decided to parts with mainstay players like Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown. The moves raised eyebrows around the league, and even Josh Jacobs was confused at first but later felt at ease after watching tape on the new additions.
“Yeah, I’m not going to lie to you, when it first happened I was like, ‘Damn, what are we doing?’ Jacobs said. “Then when I saw guys that they picked up and I watched the game film of each new guy that came in, seeing them practice, I was watching a couple of practices still on the iPad and things like that, and I saw how they were working, I said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be nice.’ Just trying to come in and get them acclimated to our team and our scheme and our system, but I think the guys will do good.”
Andre James, Denzelle Good, and Alex Leatherwood are expected to flank Kolton Miller and Richie Incognito up front, which looks risky on paper given the players’ lack of experience. However, on the flip side, the Raiders o-line does get younger and more athletic which means Jacobs and Drake could be looking at more room to run.
The offensive line has long been a strength of the Raiders offense, but it will be interesting to see how well they can hold up together with so many new faces.