From 2019-2020, the Raiders had one of the league’s best starting offensive lines. When everyone was healthy, it was one of the best five-man units in the league as they didn’t have a hole in the group. But the problem was, the five starters rarely were ever on the field together.
That is why Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden decided to do a complete rebuild of the offensive line this offseason, moving on from three expensive starters in Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown and Gabe Jackson. But what can we expect from the new unit this season with two new full-time starters in Andre James in Alex Leatherwood?
In a recent article by ESPN, their analytics department ranked all 32 offensive lines by projected pass-block win-rates this season. The Raiders came in at No. 20, which is a ten spot drop from where they were last season. Here is what the site had to say about the unit:
“The dismantling of the Raiders’ offensive line still seems questionable, and our projections expect a significant step back in 2021. Las Vegas ranked 10th in PBWR last season, despite getting only two games from Incognito, who ranked third in PBWR among guards in 2019.”
It is very likely that the Raiders could regress on the offensive line this season, but the team had to get younger. The hope is that as these five starters play more, they can gel together as a unit. That’s just something that wasn’t able to happen very often during the Trent Brown era.
How the offensive line performs for the Raiders this season will be a great sign for their success or lack thereof. Expect the unit to struggle some out of the gate, but to improve as the season goes on. That is certainly the hope of the front office and the coaching staff, at least.