There’s no question that offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor enjoyed a career year and a breakout campaign with the Las Vegas Raiders last season. He finally got a chance to be a full-time starter, logging more than double the number of snaps than his previous single-season high, and finished just outside of the top 20 among offensive tackles with a 75.3 grade from Pro Football Focus.
Eluemunor undoubtedly earned the right to enter the Raiders' training camp as the team’s starting right tackle with his play last season. However, if there is one knock on his performance from a year ago, it is that he logged far too many penalties.
After drawing 10 flags, the seven-year veteran was tied for the eighth-most penalized offensive tackle in the entire league, per PFF. Of the seven players ahead of him, three were rookies and two of the guys he was tied with were in their second seasons as pros, so not exactly the company an experienced player wants to be in. It’s also worth noting that he led all right tackles in penalties and was flagged once during his limited preseason action in 2022 as well.
In addition to all of that, Eluemunor led the Raiders in penalties by a significant margin—Mack Hollins was second with seven—and he had twice as many as any other offensive lineman.
Dylan Parham and Kolton Miller were caught with an infraction five times each, while Parham has the excuse of being a rookie and playing in nearly 100 more snaps than his veteran counterpart. For good measure, Miller also logged about 100 more snaps.
That’s a fast way to get on the coaching staff’s bad side as setting the offense back time after time is a quick way to kill a drive. Obviously, that’s something that Eluemunor will want to cut down on this season, especially since he’s playing on a one-year, $3 million contract and will be spending the next several months building his case for a raise and long-term extension.
However, old habits die hard as The Athletic’s Tashan Reed reported that Eluemunor continued to have issues with penalties during Tuesday’s practice, and that resulted in him getting benched for the day.
“The offense had some issues with pre-snap penalties Tuesday,” Tafur wrote. “Right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor was responsible for several. In response, the coaching staff had Thayer Munford take his place during 11-on-11 drills.”
While, of course, it’s still very early in the process, Reed noted on Wednesday that Munford was still taking the first-team reps over Eluemunor which is certainly not the way Eluemunor wants to start the season during a pivotal contract year. He needs to continue to show growth and drawing ‘several’ flags in practice shows that he hasn’t corrected his biggest issue from a year ago yet.
Granted, Munford wasn’t any better last season with four flags on 369 regular season snaps, so a ratio of about one every 92 plays compared to Eluemunor’s one to 94 split. Again though, the former gets the excuse of being a rookie and that’s not the company the veteran wants to be in.
Also, the Raiders have other options to replace him at right tackle besides Munford. Veterans Justin Herron and Brandon Parker both have experience playing at that spot, so Eluemunor needs to be careful and clean up one of his biggest flaws or his starting status could be in danger.