The center position within the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line has been a subject of heated debate this offseason. You can now add Pitt’s Jimmy Morrissey to the mix.
The offseason for this Las Vegas team has been an interesting one, to say the least. The defense got upgrades at several key positions via free agency and the recent NFL draft. On the other hand, the offensive line went through a makeover to the chagrin of Raider Nation. During the draft, the team’s brass opted to pick up Morrissey in the seventh round, a curious choice.
The position itself should be a competition for all intents and purposes. With the unit’s anchor in Rodney Hudson gone, the group appears to be made up of a platoon of centers. Andre James is the heir-apparent but the organization still signed former Houston Texan, Nick Martin. The question is, how does Morrissey fit in all this, or rather, what can the team realistically expect from the rookie?
What should the Raiders expect from Morrissey?
Barring major injuries to James or Martin, it’s possible that Morrissey won’t get much playing time. However, injuries can rattle an offensive line at any time, case in point, the Raiders’ last year. Also, he’ll be under the tutelage of Tom Cable, so that speaks for itself.
As far as his collegiate career, Morrissey was a formidable center, earning several honors. Chief among them, he was Second-Team All-ACC last year and First-Team All-ACC the season before. He was also awarded the Burlsworth Trophy for the 2020 season, a yearly honor given to the nation’s top walk-on player.
As far as Pro Football Focus is concerned, he was their ninth rated center and was 267th overall on their Big Board coming into the draft. They further elaborate that Morrissey has good technique but will need polishing as an NFL center, though he posted grades between 69 to 72 overall these past three years. Regardless, we might not see much from Morrissey in 2021 but adding quality depth in the late rounds will pay off in the future.
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*Top Photo: Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette