This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have made a series of moves that have left some folks perplexed as to what it is they’re trying to accomplish.
After missing the playoffs yet again, the Silver and Black went to work this offseason. In the process, they’ve made several moves in an attempt to remedy that. The most important transaction was the acquisition of pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Pairing the 2016 third-round pick with Maxx Crosby should yield nice results. The organization also added more defensive line reinforcements in Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas. The offense saw some additions in wide receivers John Brown and Willie Snead along with Kenyan Drake to back up Josh Jacobs in the backfield.
The questionable moves came once the Raiders parted ways with Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson; gutting two-thirds of their offensive line’s interior. Trading away Trent Brown wasn’t exactly a surprise but that created a hole nonetheless. It’s a strange approach to say the least, especially when you consider the fact that injuries were the biggest issue for last year’s offensive line.
So what’s next for the Raiders?
It appears head coach Jon Gruden wanted to rebuild this offensive line and he’s doing exactly that. Getting rid of arguably one of the best NFL centers for the better part of a decade certainly spells a transition period. Bringing back Denzelle Good was key and helps alleviate some of the concerns brought on by Hudson’s trade. This is due to Good’s abilities as a swing offensive lineman, being able to play more than one position, and play them well, is invaluable.
For now, replacing Brown appears to be the biggest task ahead of the NFL draft. As far as reconstructing the offensive line, Tyler Sullivan of CBS recently spotlighted those perplexing moves.
“There seemed to be a mass exodus along the offensive line, which was previously a great strength of theirs. Trent Brown’s departure makes sense as it felt like he was a square peg trying to fit in a round hole throughout his tenure in Vegas, but Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson were a surprise in my eyes.”
Sullivan obviously liked the Ngakoue, Brown, and Drake signings but both the Hudson and Jackson trades probably led to the Raiders getting a B- in free agency. In Gruden’s defense, we still don’t know what will happen with the draft. By next season’s end, these moves might end up being genius-level maneuvers. Or, it’s plausible that trading away your all-world center and starting guard might lead to another losing season.
You May Also Like: Las Vegas Raiders Mix It Up In This Post-Free Agency Mock Draft
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images