Head Coach: Jon Gruden
The Raiders were sitting pretty at 6-3 at one point, having knocked off several of the top dogs…. and then the bottom dropped out, ending another disappointing year at .500.
2021 Draft Picks
1-17 T Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
2-43 S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
3-79 DE Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo
3-80 LB Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech
4-143 DB Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
5-167 DB Nate Hobbs, Illinois
7-230 C Jimmy Morrissey, Pittsburgh
The Raiders drafted to their needs in 2021, especially on the defensive side. Letherwood was a bit of a surprise at #17, being projected late first or early second round, but there are several likely eventual starters in the batch.
Key Pick Ups
John Brown – WR (from Bills)
Kenyan Drake – RB (from Cardinals)
Yannick Ngakoue – DE (from Ravens)
Casey Hayward – CB (from Chargers)
Drake could be a good pick up, although the Raiders seem to have no idea how to best utilize the backs they have. Brown will ease the loss of Aguillar, but it’s still a significant downgrade. Hayward is past his best days, but should fill a leadership role in the secondary. Ngakoue should help some on the D line.
Nelson Agholor – WR (to Patriots)
Tyrell Williams – WR (to Lions)
Rodney Hudson – C (to Cardinals)
Aguilar’s field stretching will be missed.
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson
2020 Points Scored: 434 (10th)
The Raiders formula for success wasn’t complicated on this side of the ball in 2020. When Josh Jacobs ran for 77+ yards, they were 6-0. When he didn’t, they were 2-6. Carr is going to get his numbers, but for this team, balance is key, especially with Aguilar gone and the receiving corps not nearly as good as it was and the team’s best pass protectors no longer around.
2020 Points Allowed: 478 (30th)
Defensive Coordinator: Gus Bradley
The free agents added here will help; the Raiders shouldn’t finish 30th again. But don’t look for much better… this will still easily be a bottom 10 unit.
The Raiders had one of the best special teams units in the NFL in 2020, and most of the unit returns. No reason to think they won’t be near the top once again.
If Things Go Well
If the D can at least not be terrible, Carr’s arm will help them win at least some of the inevitable shootouts they’ll be in.
If They Don’t
If the defense is bad again, and the Raiders don’t figure out how to deploy a running game, it could get ugly in Vegas.
It’s hard to imagine they’ll figure out how to do that, and even if they do, the line may not be good enough to pull it off anymore. Chucky may be in trouble.
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