The Las Vegas Raiders’ start their three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.
This will be the first time the entire 2021 Raiders’ roster will be all together and actually practice.
Of course, a lot has changed since we last saw the Raiders on the field.
Here are six things to watch for this week:
The new offensive line:
Gone are Trent Brown, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson. First round pick Alex Leatherwood replaces Brown at right tackle. Andre James gets first crack to replace Hudson at center, and Denzelle Good is likely now the right guard with Jackson gone. This new look unit is the key to the Raiders’ offense being productive again. It will be interesting to see how they work together.
Gus Bradley’s defense:
Las Vegas’ new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley may be one of the biggest additions to the building this offseason. He is introducing his successful Cover 3 defense to a Raiders’ defense that has badly struggled for the past several years. A new system and several new pieces means the defense will be fascinating to watch this week.
The young receivers:
This a big season for Raiders’ second-year wide receivers Henry Ruggs (a first round pick in 2020) and Bryan Edwards (third round pick). The Raiders wanted them to be starters as rookies, but injuries and slow development affected both of their rookie seasons. Ruggs had 26 catches and Edwards had 11 receptions. The Raiders expect both players to make big strides this season. Let’s see where they’re both at this week.
The Raiders’ free agent prize is expected at minicamp after he worked out on his own during the OTA sessions. He is a key to the defense. It will be good to see him in the Silver and Black.
Raiders’ star running back Josh Jacobs (who will also be at minicamp after working on his own during OTAs) and Kenyan Drake have a chance to be the best 1-2 running back punch in the NFL and give the Raiders’ offense a great new dimension. It will be interesting to see how Jon Gruden works this new running back wrinkle into the offense this week.
Leatherwood and second round pick, free safety Tre’von Moehrig should be on the field with the starters. Other notable rookies to watch this week include third-round picks, pass rusher Malcom Koonce and safety/linebacker Divine Deablo, fourth-round pick, safety Tyree Gillespie, fifth-round pick, cornerback Nate Hobbs and undrafted free agents, defensive tackle Darius Stills, wide receiver Dillon Stoner and tight end Matt Bushman.