The latest Las Vegas Raiders prediction by Pro Football Focus has the Silver and Black fielding a bottom-tier offensive line. To be more specific, they state that the Raiders will have a bottom-five unit. Ouch.
It’s been an interesting offseason between PFF and Raiders fans. Their O-line grades have often been the subject of heated debate between purists, film analysts, and those who lean towards statistics over what you see on the field. On top of that, several aspects of the Raiders’ roster, besides the obvious positions, have received scathing reviews and predictions. Regardless, let’s take a look at what Sam Monson had to say recently about Josh McDaniels’ ensemble.
“If there’s one thing that can sink the Raiders this season, it’s the offensive line, a group that ranks 29th heading into the season on paper. The offensive line provides the foundation for everything else on offense. As good as the Raiders are in terms of quarterbacks and skill position players, it could all be undermined if the offensive line is prohibitively bad. No lineman in the league allowed more pressures than Alex Leatherwood last season (67), and the Raiders ranked 24th in pass-blocking efficiency. This group needs multiple pleasant surprises to avoid being a problem.”
Are the Las Vegas Raiders in trouble? Is the latest Raiders prediction a fair one?
The O-line has been the most talked about subject pertaining to the Raiders this year. Besides the acquisitions of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, many fans have expressed displeasure and concern with regard to the group. That was especially true following last week’s Hall of Fame Game. It couldn’t have gone worse for Brandon Parker, who played left tackle as Kolton Miller sat out. Once again, Parker showed why he shouldn’t be more than a depth piece, or a spot starter when needed. Almost immediately, observers began to call for Daryl Williams, imploring Dave Ziegler to make a move.
Monson also made light of Alex Leatherwood, last year’s first round pick, and his well-documented struggles in 2021. As far as last week is concerned, Leatherwood had a solid outing, though it could also be fool’s gold when you take into account that he played against less competition. There’s definitely a sense of worry when it comes to the right side of the O-line. Yes, the play calling and design looked much better than they did last year, but it’s preseason, against second and third stringers. Unless a true right tackle is signed or major corrections are made to Parker and Leatherwood’s games, PFF might not be too far off with this prediction.
*Top Photo: Sports Illustrated/Fan Nation