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Silver Minings: NFL execs rank Raiders 8th in AFC

Last in the division, though

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Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr, Josh McDaniels
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We’ve almost reached the end of rankings season as the Las Vegas Raiders are set to kick off the regular season this Sunday, but we’ve still got time to squeeze in one more. The Athletic’s Mike Sando recently polled NFL executives, asking them to rank each team in the AFC, and the Raiders came in with an average ranking of 7.6.

A lot of people in the media have been split on the Silver and Black’s outlook for the 2022 campaign. Apparently, that extends to some of the league’s front office members as Sando listed Las Vegas as one of the most volatile teams in the conference.

8. Las Vegas Raiders

Votes: 11-7-10-3-7 | Avg: 7.6 | Median: 7

The voter who ranked the Raiders third in the AFC is a general manager who expects new coach Josh McDaniels to maximize talent at the skill positions.

“They’ve got Davante Adams, Darren Waller and they got pass-rush with Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby,” this GM said. “I’m kind of bullish on them.”

Concerns regarding the Raiders’ offensive line and defensive secondary offset some of the optimism for others. There was also some concern the Raiders might not weather adversity as well as they did last season if McDaniels taps into his New England taskmaster roots.

“They can’t afford too many missteps based on how they are built and in the division they have to play,” a voter who ranked the Raiders seventh said. “What does it look like if they go on a three-game skid? On the positive, they have an ability to be one of the best pass offenses in the league, the type of team where you say, ‘We gotta hold them under 30.’”

For those curious, the Chiefs came in at No. 2, the Chargers were fourth and the Broncos were just ahead of the Raiders in seventh place. That would put three out of four AFC West teams in the playoffs, in theory, with the Silver and Black being the odd team out.

However, Las Vegas has a great opportunity to prove itself against Los Angeles this Sunday.

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