The Las Vegas Raiders did a good job of getting Derek Carr weapons this offseason. But their offensive line remains a work in progress. As of this writing, it’s hard to tell what the starting lineup will look like in Week 1. But the Raiders should consider plugging in rookie Dylan Parham at right guard. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report seems to agree.
Sobleski recently drew up a list of moves each NFL team should make before the start of the 2022 NFL season and he thinks Las Vegas should commit to Parham at right guard in training camp. Sobleski says this would allow sophomore Alex Leatherwood to move back to right tackle, which would, in turn, bring stability to the offensive line.
The Raiders’ offensive line needs consistency, particularly along the right side. Parham can immediately slot at right guard while the question of whether Alex Leatherwood will be the right tackle or guard is quieted. Let these young linemen settle into a spot, establish a comfort level, and allow the entire unit to gel.
Parham was the Silver and Black’s top pick in this year’s draft. He made 12 starts at right guard last year but also played left guard and right tackle at Memphis. He could start anywhere across the offensive line, but he might line up at right guard by default. After all, John Simpson will tentatively start at left guard and Leatherwood might be the only option at right tackle.
Dylan Parham might be the Raiders’ best option at right guard
The Raiders have a few solid pieces up front, including left tackle Kolton Miller and center Andre James. However, they also have several question marks across their offensive line, especially on the right side. Leatherwood began the 2021 season at right tackle but moved to guard after underperforming. He will get another shot outside in training camp but only because there might not currently be any better alternatives on the roster.
With Simpson likely getting the nod at left guard, it doesn’t make sense to move him around. The same is true for Andre James, who got better in 2021, posting a respectable Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of 67.2. Then, there’s Denzelle Good, who is coming off a torn ACL. He could compete for the right guard job in training camp but will need to show he’s fully healthy. If he is, he might be able to fend off Parham. Then again, the coaching staff might go with the latter if he shows upside in the upcoming weeks.
The Raiders must put their best five offensive linemen on the football field if they want to ensure Derek Carr has enough time to throw the ball. And there’s a chance that Parham will be part of the mix.
*Top Photo: Associated Press/Michael Conroy