One of the Las Vegas Raiders’ biggest and most consistent strengths has been their offensive line. Recently, Raider Nation was put to task across social media on where the unit ranks among the NFL’s best.
Originally, Gil Brandt posed the question on Twitter. For those of you not familiar with Brandt, he was the VP of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 through 1989. According to him, the Raiders are part of the NFL’s six best offensive lines right now. Alongside them are the 49ers, the Colts, the Rams, the New Saints, and his old team, the Cowboys.
Was thinking about the best offensive lines in the NFL. These are the six I came up with. How would you rank them, and who am I missing?
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) June 8, 2020
The opinions on Twitter were mixed, and many outright didn’t believe the Raiders have that elite of a unit. For example, Jeremy Layton of the New York Post said that Brandt should “remove the Rams and Raiders and replace [them] with Eagles and Ravens.” Funny enough, the team that received the most criticism in that thread was the Rams. Many believed they were terrible last season and their offensive line was one of the reasons. As far as the Raiders, one fan made an interesting observation, he stated that ” the Raiders need to get better at run-blocking, but they have excellent depth. Pass blocking would be so much better with a mobile QB.” Nowadays, it seems you can’t have a Raiders related discussion without Derek Carr being inserted into the conversation.
On Instagram, the Raider Ramble decided to share the Tweet with Raider Nation and see how they felt on that platform.
As always, fans did not disappoint and brought some excellent opinions. The Rams could not escape the Nation’s wrath on Instagram as well, user Raiders Scout ranked the teams as follows: New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Dallas, 80 college teams, and then the Rams. One user observed that ranking these units might be a tad shortsighted.
g_bernal1960 said the following, “Cowboys and Raiders O lines are built on power and pushing the line of scrimmage. These other O lines are small and built on speed.”
These are all fair points by fans and writers alike, but things can easily change from season to season. Injuries are commonplace for an offensive line and a unit can go from elite to bottom feeder in the blink of an eye. Let’s not forget the Rams offense, which was buried in these threads, not too long ago was leading its team into the Super Bowl. As far as the Raiders, they will have last year’s unit intact and added youth to it as well. It will be interesting to revisit this question next year but until then, Ramble On Raider Nation.
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*Top Photo: Jack Dempsey/Associated Press