The Las Vegas Raiders made some big splash moves this offseason, highlighted by trading for Davante Adams and signing Chandler Jones, which has undoubtedly added some star power to the roster. However, the Raiders’ lineup is still struggling to get some notoriety from the analytics community.
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey recently ranked Las Vegas’ roster as the 21st-best in the NFL or just above the bottom third of the league. Linsey also listed every team’s biggest strengths, weaknesses and X-factors.
Biggest strength: The Davante Adams addition gives the Raiders’ passing attack the receiver that it was really missing. Derek Carr ranked first in PFF passing grade on throws between the numbers in 2021 as compared to 22nd on throws outside the numbers, but now he has one of the truly elite route runners in the league who can win consistently on the outside at his disposal. Add in Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, and Las Vegas’ passing game has the potential to be explosive in 2022.
Biggest weakness: The counterargument to the explosive passing game argument above is that the Raiders didn’t do much to improve Carr’s pass protection this offseason. The right side of Las Vegas’ offensive line allowed more pressures than any other right guard and tackle duo in the NFL in 2021 (124), and there’s a chance that the Raiders run things back with Alex Leatherwood and Brandon Parker in those spots this season.
X-factor for 2022: The Raiders’ secondary stands out as one of the weaker positional groups of this roster, but there also are several younger players who could outperform expectations. Fourth-year cornerback Trayvon Mullen Jr. falls under that category. Mullen missed the majority of last season with a right foot injury, but he had a 73.9 PFF coverage grade in the first three games of the season after ranking seventh among cornerbacks with 11 pass breakups in 2020. There’s at least some reason for optimism heading into this season.
For those curious, the Raiders were sandwiched between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Los Angeles Chargers ranked third, Kansas City Chiefs ninth and Denver Broncos 14th.
In other Raiders links:
- Jones ranks seventh-best EDGE: “Maybe he’s declined slightly, but he’s still really good,” an AFC scout said. “Always been a stiffer guy, but he’s got power and knows how to rush skillwise,” via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
- Denzel Perryman vs Bears: relive one of the Pro Bowl linebacker’s best performances from last season.
- Jayon Brown, low risk, high reward: “Raiders could have a quality flier signing if the linebacker regains his form,” pens our Ray Aspuria.
- Offensive line help coming in 2023 NFL Draft?: PFF’s Mike Renner listed one draft prospect from this upcoming class that could help each team and sent Cooper Beebe from Kansas State to the desert.