Perception is everything when it comes to looking at the Las Vegas Raiders and their offseason so far. According to Pro Football Focus, this year has been below average with the first wave of free agency in the books.
Some fans and writers will say that the Raiders have had an excellent offseason addressing their biggest deficiency. Picking up Yannick Ngakoue and a slew of veterans to beef up the defensive line will bode well for Gus Bradley’s defense. Maximizing pressure from the front four will be key in the new defensive coordinator’s scheme. Unfortunately, the team opted to move on from their anchor along the offensive line, parting ways with center Rodney Hudson. In addition, Las Vegas decided not to back up the Brinks truck for wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
Picking up John Brown and Quinton Jefferson aren’t exactly headline-worthy signings but they’ll definitely help this team. Au contraire, deciding to bring back Nicholas Morrow and Denzelle Good were great moves. Also, retaining backup quarterback Marcus Mariota gives Las Vegas a solid insurance policy without breaking the bank.
Is Pro Football Focus fair in their assessment?
Per PFF, the Raiders’ best signing this offseason has been John Brown, which is kind of puzzling when you consider what Ngakoue’s potential impact will be. Brown will essentially be replacing Agholor but the team’s rookies from last year are expected to play a much bigger role with ‘Nelly’ gone. On the other hand, Ngakoue will be an immediate starter and if nothing else, the Raiders will see an increase in sacks.
It appears that PFF dings the Raiders on how they have handled the reconstruction of their once-mighty offensive line. Originally cutting Hudson and Gabe Jackson would’ve been disastrous. Luckily, offers did indeed come in and Las Vegas acquired draft capital. The other signing that has gone largely unnoticed is that of center Nick Martin. This could be attributed to the fact that Hudson’s shoes could be difficult to fill. In Martin’s defense, PFF cited his overall 67.0 career grade which makes him a serviceable addition alongside Andre James.
What are your thoughts? Was PFF accurate in their assessment?
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*Top Photo: Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group