Raiders news

Raiders News: Does Las Vegas Really Have The Fourth-Worst Secondary?

The Las Vegas Raiders never seem to garner much respect. In a recent article put out by Pro Football Focus, they ranked the Raiders as the 29th best secondary in the league. It’s ludicrous, but everyone loves to bash the Raiders. Not exactly breaking Raiders news, but let’s take a look.

Breaking Raiders news: someone’s trashing the Raiders… again.

According to the football analysts at PFF, the 2022 Raiders’ secondary is better than only the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and Seattle Seahawks. The levels of disrespect are oozing right off the page. Now, for those who are unaware, crushing the Raiders in any type of media is good for business. Why? Because all of Raider Nation gets into an uproar and spreads it around, it gains more views and clicks.

Ever notice how every offseason the media connects every major free agent to the Raiders’ interest? Or the fact that on social media, “Carr” is trending at least five days out of seven. When the NFL is feeling the heat and needs a diversion, somehow, they arrive at, “Let’s throw the Raiders under the bus.” While conspiracy theorists may scream foul, the truth of the matter is that no franchise moves the needle quite the way the Raiders do. This is why their placement on this list is so laughable.

Setting the record straight

Let us get a few things clear right off the bat. The true hypocrisy can be found in PFF’s own player ratings. Nate Hobbs was graded (77.1) as the 10th best rookie in coverage. In fact, he was rated the fifth-best corner overall. He was way ahead of everyone else in his conference! Rock Ya-Sin has the 21st best overall coverage grade (72.4). Anthony Averett has been released from the Baltimore Ravens’ zone cover scheme. Now he can apply his top-ten-man coverage skills and ascend to the greatness that was meant for him. At this moment, Trayvon Mullen is still recovering from surgery on his injured foot, but when he comes back, it’s possible he might be the fourth man on the depth chart.

Safety Trevon Moehrig is coming off his rookie season and is switching to a defensive coordinator and mindset that maximizes his strengths in concordance with fitting a scheme. As a young safety in a Cover 3 dominated scheme, Moehrig finished 2021 as the 25th overall safety and 16th best in coverage with a 75.5 grade. Ron Milus and Gus Bradley did a great job of developing him into a quality NFL player. This brings us to the other safety position.

Johnathan Abram

Abram has been and is a lightning rod for criticism. As a young vocal rookie, he invited all the smoke to come his way. Abram has lots of great abilities. The problem is that the conservative schemes he has participated in didn’t unleash him. Abram is an attacker. Some people refer to it as a downhill player, a sideline to sideline defender, or a box defender. He is the 27th ranked pass rusher as a safety. It would have been much higher if he had been allowed to blitz more. He is extremely explosive in tight spaces. His speed in close quarters would make it hard for the ball carriers to get ready for him, which could lead to more turnovers.

From Paul Guenther’s soft match 3 scheme to Bradley’s legion of boom defense, Abram has not had the opportunity to play to his strengths, which are in the box. Instead, he was exposed, deep in coverage. To his credit, Abram took big strides forward under Milus. He became less vocal and more impactful. His coverage improved dramatically. Gone were the days when he was nowhere in sight of the receiver. Instead, every time he was “mossed,” he was in a nearly perfect position. A little thing such as opening up his hips the wrong way was the difference between giving up six and the interception he could have grabbed.

Raiders news: Las Vegas doesn’t need to win mock anything

One thing the new Raiders regime has been around a lot is winning. The 2022 Las Vegas Raiders organization is worried about winning the division, making the playoffs, winning the conference title and winning the Super Bowl. All of these lists, offseason rankings, and water cooler conversations are meaningless. On July 17, rookies report. On July 20, veterans report. Usually it takes about a week or two for conditioning and then the pads come on.

Abram is the lowest graded member of the secondary, but his 56.9 PFF grade shouldn’t be able to tank the rest of the team to 29th. Especially not behind a Detroit Lions team relying on Jeff Okudah to rebound and develop back into the guy he was at Ohio State. In any case, the Raiders should be ranked in the 15-20 range. Until then, keep it here at the Ramble for more Raiders news.

*Top Photo: NBC Sports/Bay Area

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