The 2022 NFL regular season has yet to begin for the Las Vegas Raiders, but their offensive line remains a major concern. It’s possible that the Silver and Black can overcome this issue in this upcoming season. Especially when you take into consideration that Derek Carr can get rid of the ball quickly, helping to somewhat nullify this weakness. However, sooner or later, the Raiders will need more linemen, and in particular, another mauler in the interior to pair with Andre James and Dylan Parham. We’re, of course, referring to the University of Southern California star, Andrew Vorhees.
New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels has remained true to the unit that he’s groomed this past training camp. Gone is Alex Leatherwood, but just as many predicted, Jermaine Eluemunor will be the right tackle in Week 1 barring a new development. Inside, the Raiders currently have Lester Cotton Sr. and John Simpson slated to be the starting guards against the Los Angeles Chargers. As most Raiders fans will agree, the prospect of either Simpson or Cotton being starters beyond this season doesn’t sit well. Picking up a lineman at next year’s NFL Draft is highly possible.
With their first pick, the Las Vegas Raiders select Andrew Vorhees from USC…
According to Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network, general manager Dave Ziegler will be taking Vorhees with the 19th selection. Their justification for the pick makes sense, especially when you take into account the state of the O-line at the moment.
“The Raiders will be a popular choice for interior linemen on both sides of the ball. Putting Vorhees next to Kolton Miller and potentially 2022 rookie Dylan Parham would suddenly give the Raiders the kind of juice they had on the line when they were at their best with Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson inside.”
The Raiders once boasted one of the most dominant offensive line units assembled in the early part of Derek Carr’s career. Once dubbed “Carr Insurance,” that unit featured Donald Penn along with the linemen that Crabbs mentioned. If the group could return to that level of talent under McDaniels, the possibilities would be endless.
IOL2 in this class is Andrew Vorhees..T/G versatility, elite run & pass blocker. Ready to come in an immediately contribute. Very light on his feet. 6'6 320.. pic.twitter.com/CqLHcAZAhi
— Adam Carter (@SmartfootbalI) December 6, 2021
Should Vorhees be the pick?
Vorhees is one of the most heralded offensive linemen to return to school this season. Per Pro Football Focus, he was graded 90.7 in the pass-blocking department, a part of his game that the Raiders desperately need inside. While some may argue he’s not a Day 1 pick, Vorhees still has the rest of the season to prove his doubters wrong.
He’s fundamentally sound as a pass blocker, and he has that nice initial punch you look for in your guards. Hand movement is solid but, in all honesty, he could be better, especially once he gets to the NFL.
On the flip side, Vorhees has the size you look for in an interior prospect, standing at six-foot-six and 320 pounds. He uses every bit of that size in his play, anchoring effectively against larger incoming defenders. The feet and quickness that Vorhees possesses are very notable. Last year, he was often seen holding his own against faster inside pass-rushers and neutralizing nose tackles.
The ability of Vorhees to hold up against the bull rush merits a look considering how badly the Raiders’ linemen looked in the preseason, though to be fair, neither Brandon Parker nor Alex Leatherwood will be playing this year. Overall, a prospect such as Vorhees is going to make a ton of sense next April. He’ll be a name worth monitoring as the college football season continues.
*Top Photo: John McGillen/USC ATHLETICS