The Las Vegas Raiders were aggressive this past offseason in order to catch up with their division, the AFC West. After their draft and free agency additions they’re definitely better, but how well do they stack up against the rest of the NFL?
In free agency, the Raiders spent heavily on their linebacker corps when they signed Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. In the same manner, they acquired Carl Nassib and Jeff Heath. They didn’t stop there though, and selected a couple of wide receivers and a running back in the 2020 NFL Draft. Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden Jr. will infuse the team with talent. However, it might not be enough for the Raiders to contend in 2020.
Progress Within Context
In his latest power rankings, NFL analyst Doug Farrar placed the Raiders at No. 18. That’s around where most writers have them. Regarding the Silver and Black, Farrar acknowledge the team’s recent offseason additions.
“Jon Gruden is entering his third year back in the league as a head coach, and the former host of “Gruden’s QB Camp” may finally have the perfect set of targets for Derek Carr, his feelings about Carr on a long-term basis notwithstanding. Grabbing Alabama speed receiver Henry Ruggs III in the first round to add to Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfew, and prolific tight end Darren Waller makes this the most complete passing game Gruden’s had in a long time. But if the Raiders are to compile a winning record for the first time in Gruden’s new tenure, it’s the defense — fortified wisely by the draft and free agency over the last two years by general manager Mike Mayock — that will finally have to turn a dividend.”
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Some of the team’s overall position in the ranking may be a bit too high, such as the Chargers at No. 14. Nevertheless, most of the teams ahead of the Raiders in the list have better offensive talent, quarterback or coach. As improved as Las Vegas will be in 2020, it’s uncertain if they can take on powerhouses such as the 49ers (No. 3), the Ravens (No. 2) and the Chiefs (No. 1). Even teams in the teens would likely give Las Vegas a hard time.
The beauty of the NFL is teams can rise at any given moment. Raiders fandom will soon find out if the Silver and Black can take such a leap.
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