Raiders TE Michael Mayer and OL Dylan Parham

CBS Sports Says Michael Mayer Will Fly Under the Radar In ’23 While Dylan Parham Builds Off Rookie Year

Nearly every NFL fan knows the star players that the Las Vegas Raiders will be leaning on this 2023 season. The Silver and Black’s offense will go as far as Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs take them—should No. 28 sign his franchise tag. However, CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan believes Raiders tight end Michael Mayer can be an under-the-radar player this season. In turn, allowing the Notre Dame product to be a go-to target for Jimmy Garoppolo. Well, assuming Garoppolo is good to go by Week 1. If Mayer is going to get the ball, the quarterback will need time in the pocket, which is where offensive lineman Dylan Parham comes in as the second-year player looks to build off his solid rookie campaign.

Can Raiders TE Michael Mayer make an impact as a rookie?

In Mayer, Vegas drafted the replacement for Darren Waller, who was traded to the New York Giants in March. However, the Notre Dame product is still a rookie, but Sullivan wrote that the 21-year-old is a player to watch in the AFC who can become a star this season.

“The Raiders moved on from Darren Waller this offseason and completely renovated their tight end room,” Sullivan wrote. “Not only did they bring in O.J. Howard and Austin Hooper, but they also drafted Michael Mayer in the second round. Tight ends have been heavily featured in Josh McDaniels’ offense in the past, and Mayer has a skill set that should allow him to flourish.”

“Throughout the pre-draft process, Mayer was commended for his blocking ability. That should allow him to remain on the field with Las Vegas throughout his rookie season. Jimmy Garoppolo has also shown an affinity for throwing to tight ends throughout his career, so the stage is set for the rookie to impress on Day 1.”

Mayer will have his looks in the middle of the field this season. More so with Adams and Hunter Renfrow occupying the opposing defense’s attention. As a result, there’s potential for him to put up solid numbers right out of the gate. If that happens, Mayer will slowly help replace what Waller brought to the position over the years.

Dylan Parham looks to have a solid sophomore year…

Vegas has a lot of weapons on offense; that’s undeniable. Still, for head coach Josh McDaniels to maximize the likes of Adams and Renfrow, they’ll need their quarterback to have time in the pocket, which is where Parham expects to be of assistance.

“For myself, the first thing I really want to work on was my hand placement and my eye progression,” Parham told reporters (h/t Aidan Champion of SI). “The game is already fast as is, and so my first year I just felt like I was trying to learn the offense, and now it’s just like: ‘OK, now that I understand offense, it’s time to be able to look at defenses and understand what it is that they’re trying to do.’

“And so, for myself, eye placement, hands, and foot progressions—just have my feet in sequence. A lot of times I felt like I was off playing with what it was I was trying to do, so just working on slowing everything down so that I can be efficient in what I’m trying to do.”

The 23-year-old played 94 percent of the Raiders’ offensive snaps and had four penalties last season. So, Dylan Parham has set the bar high for his second year with Vegas but is willing to reach it.

*Top Photo: Las Vegas Sun/Associated Press

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