NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal posted his projections for all 32 starting offenses and defenses and he is high on the direction of of the Las Vegas Raiders. There are really no surprises on the Raiders starting offense. And really what surprises could their be other than maybe Bryan Edwards as a starting receiver somewhere?
QB Derek Carr
RB Josh Jacobs
WR Tyrell Williams
WR Henry Ruggs III
WR Hunter Renfrow
TE Darren Waller
LT Kolton Miller
LG Richie Incognito
C Rodney Hudson
RG Gabe Jackson
RT Trent Brown
With an elite offensive line, Derek Carr may not need to be anything more than the Derek Carr we’ve already come to know. The line may be the same as last year but Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow could all improve with another season in Jon Gruden’s offense, Tyrell Williams could be a healthy upgrade over the 2019 options, and Henry Ruggs, Edwards inject a wild card factor into those operations and certainly appear to be infusions of talent at a position that was barren of it last season.
That being said, I always project with caution. In the NFL, “great” can become “bad” and “bad” can become “great” with no warning.
The Raiders ranked ninth in offensive DVOA in 2019, seventh in passing and 21st in rushing. Compare that to 2018, when Oakland ranked 25th, 17th, and 29th. With Jacobs, Richie Incongito, and Trent Brown added last season, the run game got better. Could Vegas be a top-10 rushing team in 2020?
Should the Raiders maintain a top-10 passing attack too, they could be one of the most potent and high-scoring offenses in the NFL. The DVOA ranking and efficiency unfortunately didn’t result in anything more than 24th in scoring last season. Potentially with those improvements the team could regress to top-15, if not better, and be in the postseason conversation — most likely because of their offensive line first and foremost.
The starting defense is another question and has a lot more battles ahead.