The Las Vegas Raiders have had an impressive offseason, as the Davante Adams trade was one of the biggest in the NFL. They also addressed key positions such as defensive tackle and cornerback. Despite the success so far, the Raiders still have needs ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. The secondary needs more versatility, the receiver room could use more depth, and the offensive line requires much more talent.
Patrick Graham, the Raiders’ new defensive coordinator, is renowned for his elaborate defensive schemes. He likes to switch it up a lot, offering plenty of opportunities for hybrid players to shine. Defensive players that can offer solid run support and pass rush capability at linebacker would be ideal. The key to obtaining players that fit this role would be going after insanely athletic players and relying on coaching to put them in positions for success.
Additionally, Graham wants to bolster his pass coverage ability, specifically at the safety position. Last year we saw two safeties, Johnathan Abram and Divine Deablo, develop into hybrid linebacker-safeties. These two play phenomenally when stopping the run, but they struggle in coverage. Therefore, it would be smart for the Raiders to pick up a solid coverage guy at the safety position. Las Vegas could look to pick up ball-hawking free agent Tyrann Mathieu to immediately fill this need.
The blockbuster trade sending Davante Adams to Las Vegas is one of the biggest stories to come from this offseason. However, the Raiders should still look to add more depth at the position. The Raiders saw what happened last season after losing WR Henry Ruggs III and it wasn’t pretty. Hopefully, Bryan Edwards will be able to take that next step next season, but only time will tell.
The old saying “better be safe than sorry” applies to this situation, as the Raiders need to draft a WR to give themselves some insurance in case of any injuries to the starters. But the upcoming NFL Draft appears to be incredibly deep at this position of need for the Raiders; there will likely be many stars that are drafted outside of the first round.
I have saved the biggest need for last. According to PFF, the Raiders boasted the fifth-worst offensive line grading in 2021. The only bright side was the solid play from LT Kolton Miller and a good run from C Andre James down the stretch. Other than those two, the offensive line was abysmal. 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood could overcome his growing pains and become productive next season, but nonetheless, changes need to be made.
Surprisingly, the Raiders have made no moves so far to improve this dire situation. The only addition to the line was Alex Bars, who started for the Bears in just three games last season. The front office needs to do more if they want to protect their investment in QB Derek Carr and create lanes for their running backs.
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