Two other AFC West teams make BR’s list
The Las Vegas Raiders will look a lot different in 2022 than they did in 2021. Between the coaches on the sidelines, the players between painted white lines and even the people in the front office, the Raiders have seen quite a bit of turnover.
Only time will tell if all of these changes were the right ones for the organization but currently, the future is looking pretty bright in Las Vegas, and Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine listed the Silver and Black as the NFL’s fifth-most improved team this offseason.
Notable Additions: WR Davante Adams, Edge Chandler Jones, DL Bilal Nichols, CB Anthony Averett, CB Rock Ya-Sin, WR Demarcus Robinson, IOL Dylan Parham, HC Josh McDaniels
The Raiders nearly missed this list, because it’s hard to believe they are going to reach their potential without major improvement from the offensive line. The unit finished 28th in PFF’s final rankings, and they didn’t really do much to bring in better talent outside of drafting Dylan Parham and signing Alex Bars.
However, there is a new coaching staff and enough young players to believe they will improve through development and coaching.
Everywhere else, though, the Raiders got better. They locked up Derek Carr to a new contract, ensuring they’ll have high-level quarterback play. Even if Carr isn’t a top-tier signal-caller, he’s still well above average and a better option than wading into the unknown with someone else.
Trading for Davante Adams gives Carr all the weapons he needs to succeed. It’s tough to top Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller as a big three.
The best work the Raiders did came on defense. They turned defensive end Yannick Ngakoue into Rock Ya-Sin via trade and signed Chandler Jones. The former Cardinals pass-rusher will be familiar with new head coach Josh McDaniels from their time together in New England.
McDaniels has all the tools he’ll need to find quick success. He’ll have every opportunity to demonstrate he’s improved since his ill-fated time as the head coach of the Denver Broncos during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
While being listed in the Top 5 in the entire league is nice, the Raiders’ improvements were also ranked as the third-best in the AFC West. Ballentine has the Los Angeles Chargers as No. 2 and the Denver Broncos as the top dog.
Then again, it’s much harder to improve when the bar is set higher seeing as the Raiders were the only playoff participant from that group of three last season.
In other Raiders links:
- Chandler Jones, sack machine: Las Vegas’ new edge rusher is behind T.J. Watt (72) and Aaron Donald (70) and tied with Cameron Jordan (60.5) for the third-most sacks in the league over the last four seasons.
- Dylan Parham stat breakdown: a deep dive into how many rushing stats the Raiders third-round pick was responsible for in college.
- Renfrow, Adams, Waller NFL’s best trio?: PFF asks the question and Las Vegas’ crew has a pretty strong case.
- Matthew Butler named a top Day 3 pick: “While averaging 55.8 snaps per game, Butler still managed to grade out well above-average as both a run-defender and pass-rusher last fall,” via PFF.