The training camp for the 2022 Las Vegas Raiders kicked off in Henderson, Nevada this week, and the updates from the facility are coming in non-stop. Here are three things about the team we have already learned this early in camp.
The Derek Carr and Davante Adams connection is very real
We have finally arrived at training camp where fans can see if the Derek Carr-Davante Adams connection from Fresno State is still alive and well. The general consensus is that it is in full effect. The Raiders media team has already satisfied the demands of Raider Nation with slow motion footage of Adams catching beautifully timed routes from Carr and the back shoulder fade is a completion we hope to see countless times once the season finally kicks off in September.
Josina Anderson from CBS Sports was on site at the Henderson facility and reported that she saw the chemistry between the two and it was palpable.
Let me also take this time to say thisâ€”we kicked off our 2022 #NFL training camp tour in Las Vegas for a reason: sheer anticipation of the #Raiders season. In person, I saw the Carr-Adams connection. It is unspoken, organic & already showing signs of being telepathic. #DontSleep https://t.co/s4R2bnCiys
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 24, 2022
While we won’t dive into the “Hall of Famer” dilemma, Adams is clearly happy to be reunited with his best friend and former college teammate. Early reports from training camp report that Carr and Adams are clicking as anticipated, and all of the team, offense and defense alike, are enthralled by Adams’ presence. As a teammate and competitor, Adams is making the entire team better as a result. Look for the Carr-Adams connection to continue to grow and fine tune itself as camp continues.
Raiders Camp: Brandon Parker for right tackle
The offensive line is definitely a position of concern for the 2022 Raiders. While it was anticipated that second-year RT/RG (and 2021 first round pick) Alex Leatherwood would be ready to slide back over to right tackle as originally intended, the narrative is changing. Reports from training camp have revealed that the position battle is focused on Leatherwood and Brandon Parker, and at this point, Parker is taking the lead. What makes this early lead impressive is that Parker isn’t just stepping ahead of Leatherwood.
“I’m literally competing every rep I get. He told us it’s outright competition. We’ve got [Alex] Leatherwood, myself, Jermaine [Eluemunor], and Jackson [Barton]. We’ve got a lot of good guys that could do it as well. When they put me there, they put me there, but as for right now, I just do the best I can.”
The word from beat reporters on the scene at the practice facility is that Parker is getting the majority of the first team repetitions and is earning the respect of the coaching staff early on. Parker stepped into the right tackle position during the 2021 season when Leatherwood began experiencing his downward “rookie” slide early on, and it appears Parker is not ready to give the position back. Keep an eye on this position battle and see who ends up as the starting right tackle when the Raiders face off against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 11.
Rock Ya-Sin is leading the way
The offensive line isn’t the only position group where some concern resides. The Raiders’ secondary, specifically the cornerbacks, is one position group that may need some extra help as the season progresses. Trayvon Mullen was expected to return from his injury in 2021 and lead the secondary in 2022. Regrettably, he has started training camp on the PUP list.
The dark horse candidate to lead the unit is former Baltimore Raven Anthony Averett. However, analysts and fans alike may have overlooked another offseason import, former Indianapolis Colt Rock Ya-Sin. It doesn’t hurt that Ya-Sin is showing off his off-season work in the weight room.
Rock Ya-Sin is yoked. pic.twitter.com/MmYwZcCR05
— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) July 22, 2022
Ya-Sin came to the Raiders in a trade that sent Yannick Ngakoue to Lucas Oil Stadium. So far, reports show that Ya-Sin is flourishing at training camp with his new team. He has been making plays left and right this camp. For example, he picked off Jarrett Stidham, displayed tight coverage on Adams, and more recently, the “Slot Machine.”
Last week it was Davante Adams, this week Rock Ya-Sin makes a nice play on Hunter Renfrow in 11-on-11 drills.
— Levi Edwards (@theleviedwards) July 26, 2022
The early reaction is that Ya-Sin is shaping up to be a starter and an impact player on the defense. That is a sigh of relief for a thin Raiders secondary unit. Look for Ya-Sin to continue his development by going up against this elite receiving unit as camp continues.
*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal