A revamped Raiders offensive line: the ultimate test

Source: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group

The Raider’s have revamped their offensive line this offseason. After drafting Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood, who was projected by many to go in the second round of the NFL draft, and trading three of their best offensive line players in Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown, and Gabe Jackson, one thing is certain: the Raiders are ready to get younger and bank on offensive line coach Tom Cable’s coaching.

It’s no question that Tom Cable has easily been one of the better offensive line coaches in the league for a while, and we know Jon Gruden’s team loves to run the ball. But after being a bottom-five defense last year, and having such a high amount of cap invested in the offensive line, it was clear to the Raiders that things needed to be shaken up if they plan to keep the same game plan. So what’s the Raiders O-line looking like this upcoming season?

At center, the Raiders have Andre James. Most people would agree this is a downgrade over last year’s center, Rodney Hudson. Hudson was a proven center, and one of the best centers in the entire league. The Raider’s hopes are James can become a good consistent player, and quickly, or there could be some issues for the Silver and Black.

At left tackle, Kolton Miller returns for his fourth year. He’s still developing but is turning into a great product. At left guard, Richie Incognito will start at the age of 38, after missing 14 games last season. His health is still a question, but John Simpson is there just in case Incognito can’t finish the season.

Moving to the right guard position, Denzelle Good will start in place of Gabe Jackson. Jackson was a proven player at guard, but the Raiders do believe they are upgrading with Good at guard. He is going into his sixth season, and this is the first time he’s starting. But Good has proven himself over the past few seasons.

Finally, Raiders 1st round pick Alex Leatherwood will be at right tackle. Coming from Alabama, Leatherwood was an All-SEC player. Raider fans and the Raiders themselves are all counting on this 22-year old kid to make a big splash, especially coming from a winning school like Alabama. Early impressions of Leatherwood are extremely positive. He was seen in one drill getting the better of Maxx Crosby.

Needless to say, the experiment the Raiders are about to run this year will have its ups and downs. If it pans out for Tom Cable at such a cheap price, the Raiders can make a huge splash in 2022 free Agency to strengthen other positional units on this team.

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