An intense offseason helped the Raiders turn an upsetting finish into a promising future. Draft capital was essential in adding playmakers to the roster, and with draft selections such as Tyree Wilson, Michael Mayer and Jakorian Bennett, the Silver and Black were able to noticeably strengthen their roster. The departure of Derek Carr opened the door for a new gunslinger to command the offense; one who head coach Josh McDaniels is plenty familiar with. All-Pro wideout Davante Adams remains on the roster, and high-profile receiver Jakobi Meyers joins him on the outside.
A reshuffled roster will help Las Vegas compete in a competitive AFC West conference. The restart in Sin City refreshes the culture and presents vacancies in X-factor roles. Jimmy Garoppolo will rely on his skill players to help him transition into Mick Lombardi’s scheme – which of his receivers will become his favorite target this season?
Las Vegas Raiders: Davante Adams will become Jimmy G’s lifeline…
Finding an open target while learning a new offense could present many challenges. Adjusting to different concepts is difficult, especially with developing chemistry. Luckily, the Raiders have a signal caller who’s a veteran in Josh McDaniels‘ system. There will still be some hiccups as Garoppolo re-learns this system, though; that’s where Davante Adams comes in.
Adams is the best receiver on the depth chart, and possibly in the entire NFL. He’s known to create separation from the stingiest cornerbacks, making throws his way almost a guaranteed completion. The back-to-back-to-back (x3) first-team All-Pro has hauled in 67.8% of passes his way throughout nine seasons.
There is a plethora of reasons why quarterbacks love throwing to Davante Adams – he’s a playmaker who can create an instant spark for the offense. In 2022, Adams ranked fifth at his position via Pro Football Focus‘ overall offensive rating (90.1), earning the third-highest receiving grade (90.5). His 1,516 receiving yards finished third-most among all pass catches last season.
Adams is an elite receiver who will help Garoppolo transition into Lombardi’s offense with ease. He ranked first in touchdown receptions (14) last season, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again. Adams reliability and efficiency are keys for development and will assist an offense looking to solidify an identity.
Jakobi Meyers is an under-the-radar threat
A quest for help on the outside aligned the Raiders with their latest high-profile receiver acquisition. Dave Zeigler’s front office signed Jakobi Meyers to a three-year $33 million contract, adding another offensive player who is familiar with McDaniels’ system.
Experience with the New England Patriots will give Meyers an advantage in Las Vegas’ scheme. Mick Lombardi served as the wide receiver coach in New England from 2020 through 2021 and is now the offensive coordinator in Las Vegas.
Incorporating Meyers into the offense is an easy task. His soft hands result in easy completions, and his 6’2″ frame is great for competing for jump balls. In 2022, Meyers caught 66.7% of his targeted throws. His ability to catch balls was graded the seventh-highest via PFF (90.3), helping him to record 803 receiving yards.
Meyers consistency helped quarterbacks like Bailey Zappe and Brian Hoyer stay afloat throughout the season. If Davante Adams attracts too much attention, Jimmy Garoppolo can count on Meyers to move the ball downfield.
The offseason provides franchises time to develop their roster; it seems Dave Ziegler and the Raiders took full advantage of the allotted time. Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers are exciting additions to the depth chart. Hunter Renfrow and Michael Mayer will serve as additional options for Las Vegas’ quarterback.
Las Vegas made significant upgrades and will expect big things in the upcoming season.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images