The Las Vegas Raiders offensive line will oversee no changes in 2020, which means all their starters are coming back. Besides cohesion, they will have capable backups ready to start if necessary.
As a whole, the group surrendered 29 sacks in 2019. Which sounds like a lot, until you factor in last year’s (2018) 52 sacks. Also, they allowed the eighth least amount of sacks in the NFL and constantly opened lanes for rookie running back Josh Jacobs. The fact they will go into the 2020 season without any major changes will benefit both the passing and running game.
Here Come the Silver and Black Hog Mollies
After showing growth together last season, all five offensive line starters will return in 2020. The Raiders decided against parting ways with guard Gabe Jackson and gave Richie Incognito a new two-year deal. Kolton Miller, is still playing on his rookie deal, and Trent Brown is in the second of a four-year contract. Likewise, Rodney Hudson has been a staple of the team’s offensive line and signed a three-year contract extension last offseason. Although Hudson is the only All-Pro of the team, none of them are pushovers.
Miller improved in his second season in the NFL and it’s possible he will be even better this upcoming season. Jackson is healthy and will have another chance to join the top echelon at his position. Brown, was injured and missed a few games last season, but there’s no indication he’s suffering of any setbacks. Incognito will start in Week one, after missing the first two games of last year due to a suspension.
Brown and Incognito weren’t the only Raiders offensive linemen who missed games. Hudson, missed the outing against the Lions. Jackson was inactive for five games. Miller, after playing through injury as a rookie, was the only one that started all 16 games. If it is needed, Denzelle Good or even rookie John Simpson could take over.
Good held his own in Jackson’s absence, and earned a contract extension earlier this year. Moreover, the Raiders selected Simpson with the 109th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Even if the ex-Tigers guard won’t play right away, he surely figures to be in the organization’s future plans.
Maybe the offensive line’s one weakness is their depth at tackle. Backup Brandon Parker has failed to show he can be reliable and reserve tackle Andre James is a question mark at this point of his career. Nevertheless, if the Raiders lack of options at tackle goes untested, they should be fine.
Even though their tight end unit could be the Raiders most complete group, their offensive line belongs in the conversation. The unit’s consistency in 2019 should carry over this upcoming season.
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Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal