Raiders

Raiders: 3 FA Offensive Linemen That Provide An Instant Upgrade

The Las Vegas Raiders made the playoffs in 2021 for the first time since 2016, but it’s safe to say the offensive line wasn’t the reason why. The Raiders’ offensive line consistently ranked in the bottom tier of the league each week but did show some progress towards the end of the season.

Things will have to improve in the trenches if the Silver and Black hope to advance past the wild card round. One way to do that is through free agency. So, let’s dive into a few of the best offensive line free agents in 2022.

Terron Armstead

Terron Armstead has played for the New Orleans Saints since 2013. He’s consistently shown the NFL that he’s one of the best tackles in the league. Armstead began his NFL campaign by running the fastest 40-yard dash of any offensive lineman since 1982. His time was exceptional, at 4.71 seconds.

In 2021, Armstead earned high praise and high grades. Armstead received a 75.9 overall rating from Pro Football Focus, with an 85.6 pass-blocking grade and a 64.1 run-blocking grade. We all know PFF isn’t the end-all, be-all, but it does give you an idea of how well Armstead has been playing. In comparison, Raiders’ tackle Brandon Parker earned a 55.8 overall grade from PFF.

Armstead allowed just one sack in 2021, but that was partially due to injuries. Armstead missed nine games last season with elbow and knee injuries. His injury history is one of the few concerns surrounding his play.

Under traditional circumstances, Armstead isn’t a player you let walk. But the Saints are in salary cap hell, and Armstead may see his time in New Orleans come to an end because of it.

Laken Tomlinson

Tomlinson spent the first two seasons of his career in Detroit before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He has spent the last four seasons in San Francisco and is set to become a free agent this offseason.

Tomlinson brings to the table exactly what the Raiders need: a valuable run blocker that rarely allows any quarterback pressure. After a tough start to his career, Tomlinson’s time in San Francisco has allowed him to develop into a highly regarded offensive lineman.

In 2021, Tomlinson allowed just two sacks and seven QB hits. Impressively, he also played his best football towards the end of the season, aiding in the 49ers’ deep playoff run. He earned an overall PFF grade of 75.9 in 2021, making the last two seasons the best of his career.

The Raiders need a run blocker, but more so than that, they need a mentor. Alex Leatherwood struggled mightily in his rookie year. Tomlinson’s ability to progress year over year is exactly the kind of example that would be beneficial for the first-round pick.

Morgan Moses

Moses isn’t one of the most well-known offensive linemen in the league, but he is one of the most reliable. He spent time with the New York Jets in 2021 after previously playing in Washington. Moses has started at right tackle since 2015, and now the Raiders are in desperate need of a new right tackle.

While Moses is regarded as being an impressive run blocker during his nine seasons in the league, his pass protection isn’t as flashy. He allowed four sacks in 2021 and a total of 10 QB hits and 49 total pressures, per PFF. His pass protection earned him a grade of 65.7 by PFF, but his run game excelled in comparison.

Moses had a 74.9 run-blocking grade, making him a solid choice to pair with Leatherwood on the right side. Moses has not missed a single game since 2015, often showing up in big moments. He played his best football against some of the best defensive lines in the league in 2021, including his best games against the Bucs and the Titans. Both teams are well known for having unstoppable defensive lines, and Moses held up against them both.

The Raiders’ offensive line needs big upgrades in 2022 and landing just one of these top free agents may be the push they need.

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*Top Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

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