Surprisingly, the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t do anything to upgrade the offensive line this offseason despite it being an expected area of need.
While there is still some worry spots with the overall unit, one player who the team is excited about is second-year guard Dylan Parham, who has been out of practice after getting hurt against the 49ers. He had a respectable rookie season in 2022 after being a third-round pick (the team’s highest pick in 2022) out of Memphis.
Las Vegas offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi believes Parham’s rookie experience will help him take the next step in his career in 2023.
“I think a lot of it has to do with confidence, right? Confidence in knowing what to do and how to do it,” Lombardi said of Parham. “Rewind a year ago he was just a rookie out of Memphis and didn’t know a whole lot and just how to learn how to practice first of all. Now they’ve learned how to practice and they know what to do and now it’s just tweaks and talking about different techniques. Now you can improve the technique because the assignment is taken care of. When the assigned is taken care of, then you can really hone in on what can you do a little bit better in terms of technique to get better, and I think Dylan is trying to do a good job of that this spring improving from year one to year two.”
Overall, while it is surprising that the same starting unit is back, Lombardi thinks the continuity should help the group in its second full season together.
“No doubt, and I think the guys that we added (backups) have been really received very well by the offensive line room,” Lombardi said. “The two young rookies and a couple of guys in free agency that we added have done a good job of taking coming in - and those other guys helping each other out. The offensive line sees each other as one, not just five guys out there at one time. So, there’s 15 or 16 guys every year in training camp and you hope to have that in an offensive line room where they’re a tight knit group and they help each other out, and I think that’s what we have. And I think that’s what we preach every day. I think Coach Carmen [Bricillo] and Coach Cam [Cameron Clemmons] do a good job of holding those guys accountable and they appreciate it.”