With the 90th pick in the 2022 NFLÂ Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Memphis guard Dylan Parham. How did general manager Dave Ziegler and company do with the pick? Let’s take a look.
NFL Draft: Checking the tape for Dylan Parham
Parham’s 2021 film is fantastic. He moves smoothly and with a purpose. His hand placement is nearly perfect. The former Memphis guard does a great job of getting his hips underneath himself, allowing him to engage defenders with a ton of leverage. In pass protection, Parham is stout. His technique is so sound that he rarely gets beat super cleanly. In the run game, he usually takes care of his responsibilities, but he is far less dominant. Parham is not much of a power run blocker. Also, while he does move well laterally, the former Tiger does not have the quickness to get down field and lead block. Overall, Parham is a solid talent that probably could have gone much higher than the late third round selection where the Raiders drafted him.
How does Parham fit with the Raiders?
Given how bad the Raiders’ offensive line was last season, Parham’s services will certainly be helpful. The interior of the Raiders’ offensive line was not great. However, they did have three young players in their first seasons as full-time starters. On top of that, they are getting Denzelle Good back from injury. A guard who looks like he should be ready to play right away could create a log jam. Yes, Good has experience at tackle, but he is far better inside. Alex Leatherwood will get another shot at locking that spot down as well, but, and I cannot stress this enough, he is a guard. At the end of the day, there will be stiff competition at a position that desperately needs to improve, so there are worse fits.
Were there better options?
At guard? Nope. Parham was by far the best interior offensive lineman available. However, one has to wonder why they chose not to address a more valuable position such as the right tackle. Louisiana’s Max Mitchell, Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele, and Missouri’s Zach Tom were all still available. Secondary was also a major area of need. Maryland safety Nick Cross and Cincinnati corner Coby Bryant were both still on the board at 90. Perhaps the Raiders could have gotten more value out of one of them than they will get from a guard that is not guaranteed to start in Week 1. Then again, all of the aforementioned players, with the exception of Cross, fell in the fourth round. Maybe I’m missing something there.
Las Vegas got great value for where they ended up picking. Parham was a borderline top-50 talent in this draft. I think that the Raiders’ brass stuck by their guns on the “Best Player Available“ strategy. That is commendable, and there is a real case to be made that Parham was the best player available at that pick. The minus part of the grade comes down to how you feel about the Raiders’ interior offensive line. That area seems far stronger than the right tackle position. Again, this is somewhat contingent on the belief that Leatherwood is not a tackle. There are clearly a lot of folks within the Raiders organization who still have faith that he can stick outside. Overall, this seems like a pretty strong pick by the Raiders.
*Top Photo: Courtesy of Memphis Athletics