Everyone knew entering the year that the offensive line had a chance to be the Achilles’ heel for the Raiders. Once the Raiders traded away established veterans such as Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson, it was clear that the team was in a complete rebuild on the offensive line.
However, the hope was that by the end of the year, the unit would be getting better and better with more experience. Unfortunately, injuries and poor play have made that seem unlikely.
According to Pro Football Focus, the offensive line for the Raiders is one of the worst units in the league. In fact, they listed them at No. 24 in their most recent offensive line rankings. Here is what the site had to say about the unit after five games:
“This line’s problems have been coming back to bite the Raiders over the past couple of weeks after the team got out to an excellent start this year. First-round rookie Alex Leatherwood was struggling badly at right tackle against some elite competition and didn’t fare much better when kicked inside to guard once the line was reshuffled.
Leatherwood sports a poor 26.9 PFF pass-blocking grade, allowing 21 total pressures despite the team trying to give him help. Kolton Miller has been excellent at holding his own on the other side of the line, but even he isn’t grading well in the run game.”
As mentioned above, Miller is the only reason this unit is even ranked this high. Otherwise, it’s a bottom-three unit due to Andre James, Alex Leatherwood and Brandon Parker.
The hope is that Richie Incognito can come back and stabilize the left guard position, which gives them one fewer hole to worry about it. Still, the right side of their line is a problem and might be time to consider benching Leatherwood before his confidence is completely gone.
Whatever Tom Cable decides to do on the offensive line, it appears that this unit is going to be their biggest problem all season long. The Raiders are likely in a spot now where they are going to need to use some free-agent dollars and high draft picks again in 2022 to fix this unit.