Just four weeks into the 2022 regular season, some Las Vegas Raiders players are either playing themselves out of the roster or becoming too expensive.
Here are five players we think are at risk of not being Raiders in 2023. Let’s start with the obvious; 2019’s first round and the players it produced for the Silver and Black, a.k.a. the Jon Gruden draft picks.
Clelin Ferrell has been a bust, simply put.
Clelin Ferrell was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Fast forward to 2022, and the Raiders decided not to pick up his fifth-year option. It is, regrettably, an indictment of his future with the Silver and Black. Ferrell had no say in where or who drafted him, which is unfortunate for the Clemson product. Even so, his play has been, to put it mildly, subpar.
During his time with the Raiders, he has recorded 82 total tackles and nine sacks. His counterpart from the same draft, Maxx Crosby, has exceeded and tripled his totals, despite being a fourth-round pick from a Mid-American Conference school. It’s time for a divorce between Ferrell and the Raiders. They have two defensive ends in Malcolm Koone and Tashawn Bower, who have shown more promise than Ferrell.
Josh Jacobs is playing like a man on a mission, but will the Raiders pay up?
Drafting a running back in the first round of the NFL draft is typically a misuse of assets, as running back is the easiest position to find outside the first round. Josh Jacobs has had some success, but is that enough to warrant a second contract with the Raiders?
He has accumulated over 1,200 scrimmage yards in his first three years, which is notable. Unfortunately, injuries, bad offensive line play, and an inconsistent offensive play caller have hindered his success.
Jacobs is a good back, but the Raiders’ new regime did draft Zamir White in this past draft. They are also known for not paying running backs much money, as they usually run their running back rooms through a committee. Jacobs is the only 2019 first round draft pick that has possibly earned a second contract with his play, but unfortunately for him, he plays running back.
Does Johnathan Abram figure into the team’s long-term plans?
Safety Johnathan Abram started off his 2022 campaign strong, as defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was able to get him closer to the line of scrimmage, allowing him to make plays. But once Trevon Moehrig went out, the same old Abram we knew came back. Abram has always struggled with coverage, and it evidently is still an issue.
In this day and age of the NFL, you can’t have a safety that can’t be trusted in coverage. Abram also makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to being unable to finish a blitz or missing tackles. The assurance of both having a proven veteran in Duron Harmon and Moehrig being an improving cover safety means Abram is the odd man out. They can’t waste money on a player who is better as a linebacker, despite him not being a linebacker.
Foster Moreau will be a starter, just not with the Raiders.
Foster Moreau is another 2019 draft pick, and he has had his ups and downs during his time with the Raiders. Despite that, fellow tight end Darren Waller said how this was going to be their last year playing together on Will Compton’s podcast, “Bussin’ With The Boys.”
“This is going to be my last year playing with Foster,” Waller said. “He is a starting tight end.” Moreau’s big play ability and running blocking have flashed during his time with the Raiders.
Head coach Josh McDaniels loves his two tight end sets, but a team is probably going to offer Moreau money that the Raiders won’t be able to match. Like wide receiver Zay Jones did with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. Good for Moreau; he deserves the bag. But have in mind it is probably not going to be from the Raiders, as they have already committed to Waller long term.
Is Brandon Parker’s time with the Las Vegas Raiders running out?
Offensive tackle Brandon Parker was slated to be the Raiders’ starting right tackle this year, but an injury sidelined him for the season. This injury might have closed Parker’s chance to be a starter in this league. Your best ability is availability, and Parker hasn’t fit this mold. Injuries have always been attached to him during his playing career.
Even when Parker was on the field, it wasn’t pretty. His play has been sloppy, to put it mildly. Whenever he was the right tackle, quarterback Derek Carr had to have eyes in the back of his head. General manager Dave Ziegler also acquired New England Patriots offensive tackles Justin Herron and Thayer Munford Jr. (via draft) and he’s familiar with Jermaine Eluemunor, who played with the Patriots from 2019-2020. It looks like the new Las Vegas Raiders regime is going to pick their own right tackle and not trust the homegrown one.
*Top Photo: Las Vegas Sun