The Las Vegas Raiders gave their offensive line a major makeover this offseason. Some of the moves they made were good while others not so much, but if you ask general manager Mike Mayock, he will likely tell you the unit is trending up.
In the Raiders’ pre-draft press conference, Mayock shared his thoughts about the offensive line. He says the general perception might be that the group is worse after all the changes. However, he feels ‘kind of energized” about it and is content with the moves they made this offseason. He sees left tackle Kolton Miller as a cornerstone player and a locker room presence. Also, the general manager believes moving on from Rodney Hudson while having Nick Martin and Andre Martin compete for the center spot won’t be a downgrade.
We think we’re getting younger. I’m excited and energized by what our offensive line room is starting to look like, and I’m excited and energized because I think Tom Cable feels the same way. We have all the respect in the world for Rodney [Hudson] and Gabe [Jackson] and Trent, but at this point, we made a conscious decision to try to get younger, maybe a little bit more athletic.
The Raiders’ offensive line could still use a few upgrades
Miller looks like the long-term solution at left tackle. Also, veteran Richie Incognito should hold the left guard job for at least one more year. However, the Raiders’ offensive line could still use some help. Martin should be a serviceable player and the same is true for Denzelle Good, who will most likely start at right guard. On the other hand, they don’t know who the starting right tackle will be. Mayock says he likes Jaryd Jones-Smith, who recently joined the team, but it’s highly unlikely he will see significant playing time in 2021. Thus, using an early-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft makes sense. Also, there will be some talented offensive guard prospects, they should target one with one of their middle-round picks.
When the Raiders traded Hudson and Jackson, it seemed like there was no plan in place, as the moves were sudden. That’s probably why Mayock said the public perception was negative. In the end, things have worked out, but the team’s brass shouldn’t stop adding talent. Las Vegas already started making changes to the offensive line. They need to finish what they started earlier this offseason and keep retooling the unit. The draft will give them the opportunity to do so.
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