What’s Raiders’ Most Pressing Need: Safety or Offensive Line?

With March coming to an end, the Las Vegas Raiders still have work to do in regards to their roster. So what’s the bigger need, is it safety or their offensive line?

There was a ton of movement for Las Vegas these past couple of weeks, including a major shakeup along both sides of the trenches. Yannick Ngakoue will be joining Rod Marinelli’s defensive line while center Rodney Hudson was surprisingly shipped off. Much to the bewilderment of Raider Nation, the team’s brain trust added not one but two wide receivers. Both John Brown and Willie Snead were given contracts while the defensive backfield remains bare.

The offensive line’s interior will feature Richie Incognito, Denzelle Good, and the heir apparent at center, Andre James. Unfortunately, trading away Trent Brown leaves the Raiders with a gaping hole at right tackle. So far, no replacement for Brown has been signed but perhaps the draft will provide an answer to that. As far as the backfield, the Raiders have moved on from Lamarcus Joyner and Erik Harris.

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So what can the Raiders do?

Replacing Brown, Joyner, and Harris will be a daunting task, to say the least. All three played key roles, which makes the Raiders’ negligence to address those positions sort of puzzling. It’s entirely plausible that Las Vegas plans on replacing all three through the NFL draft. That’s a lot of pressure for three potential starting rookies, but at this point, what other choice will the Raiders have?

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report recently floated the idea of the Raiders taking a look at Mitchell Schwartz and Rick Wagner. Schwartz is a Super Bowl champion and one-time All-Pro that could provide a stop-gap solution at right tackle. Meanwhile, Wagner has proven to be a solid NFL tackle, posting a Pro Football Focus 78.2 pass-blocking grade in 2020. Both could be excellent additions, meaning the defensive backfield could be addressed entirely in the draft. On the other hand, this year’s prospect class is deep with talent at the tackle position. It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders deal with their remaining deficiencies.

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*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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