2019 wasn’t a total loss for the Las Vegas Raiders. There were several bright spots, such as the solid rookie class and how they seemed to click as a unit towards the end of the year. However, there were also some bumps on the road and with the season behind them, let’s take a closer look at their 2020 outlook.
As we dive deep into the roster, here’s a recap of the breakdown the Raider Ramble did of each position.
Moving Up or Moving On? Recounting previous volumes
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Line
- Defensive Line
- Special Teams
Offensive Recap and Outlook
Get ready for another offseason of quarterback controversy and speculation. I’m not biting yet, as Derek Carr and DeShone Kizer are under contract. Nathan Peterman can be re-signed, but the Raiders could tap into free agency or even the draft to add depth. Mike Glennon should be out, I don’t see why they would bring him back. I also don’t see them reaching high in the draft as Kizer is a man general manager Mike Mayock had high praise for coming out of college. Kizer is 23 and started one year for a horrible Browns team. He then sat for a year behind Aaron Rodgers, and spent last year behind Carr in Jon Gruden’s system. Until I see otherwise, I’m riding with Carr and Kizer as the Raiders main signal-callers.
Running backs were the best and most consistent unit on the offense this past season. Josh Jacobs and Alec Ingold are the RB/FB tandem I expect to see for the long haul. Jacobs, as marvelous as he is, can’t carry the full load on his own and needs a complimentary piece to ease the workload. Deandre Washington filled in nicely but could walk for a bigger role elsewhere. It would be nice to see Isaiah Crowell actually play in Silver and Black, but who knows what his condition is after his injury last year. Jalen Richard could be brought back, but they can easily replace him in free agency or the draft.
The wide receiver corps was easily the most dysfunctional group in the Raiders offense. This unit was shuffled and bounced around like a stripper at a bachelor party. They left a lot to be desired. Hunter Renfrow is probably the only wide out who’s guaranteed a spot going forward, but I expect them to bring back Tyrell Williams, Rico Gafford and maybe a couple others for depth. Make no mistake though, the lack of depth will be addressed in the draft, and/or free agency. I just can’t get that image out of my head against the Jaguars: Carr throws a hail-mary to the end zone, Marcell Ateman and Keelan Doss are there, Ateman jumps, hands wide open over Doss, the ball goes through his arms and hits Doss in the helmet. Doss, looking at the ball, tries to catch it but his arms are about 2-3 feet too short… as he got hit in the head!
Tight ends are the only group that can contend with the running backs for the most consistent offensive unit. Darren Waller and Foster Moreau are in it for the long haul too. They could easily become the best tight end tandem in the league in Jon Gruden’s offense. Then there is Derek Carrier who is on his last year and will either fight for a spot or be traded for a draft pick.
Still a top unit in the league, the offensive line was depleted most of the year with players getting banged up all season. They held their own though and still remained a top unit, credit to Tom Cable here. The majority of the line is locked in but Gabe Jackson is due more than he has earned and could be the sacrificial lamb. Even without him, Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Rodney Hudson, and Trent Brown can squeeze anyone in that right guard role and be fine. Denzelle Good was given an extension and may be his spot to lose unless Jackson restructures.