Raiders News: Preseason ended with offensive line uncertainty
The Las Vegas Raiders had a successful preseason for the most part, finishing with a 4-0 record after beating the New England Patriots last night. But if there is a group of positions that has ruined the month, it is the offensive line and more precisely the right side.
Right tackle Brandon Parker struggled in the Hall of Fame game, allowing two sacks and earning a Run Block rating of less than 55.6 PFF, and he has been injured ever since. Rookie Thayer Munford looked solid in the team’s first two outings, but also bumped and missed the last two weeks, while Alex Leatherwood allowed a the team’s seven highest pressures heading for Friday evening. And the problems extended beyond the rim, as alleged starting guard Lester Cotton was the Raiders’ lowest-ranked lineman (49.0) before the game against the Patriots.
All of this uncertainty puts head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler in a tough spot with the final roster cuts looming on Tuesday, and they could be considering options outside the building.
According ESPN Jeremy FowlerLas Vegas feels “shaky” on the right side of the offensive line, and there’s a belief in the league that Leatherwood won’t be on the team’s final roster, either by trade or release.
Match Raiders vs. NE big for the right side of the Las Vegas O line. The team feels unstable there, in several places, and several teams I have spoken to are monitoring OL Alex Leatherwood, thinking he could be traded or released. But the Raiders wanted to assess the game before the decisions
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 26, 2022
Fowler’s tweet implies that McDaniels and Ziegler were going to give last year’s first round one more chance to prove themselves against New England. However, he continued to struggle, casting more doubt on his standing with the team.
As for Cotton, the Raiders at least have an internal option to replace him as rookie Dylan Parham has looked solid with a 66.9 overall PFF score before Friday while doing rehearsals at the three indoor spots. But it might be time to look for an outside hire at tackle unless the coaching staff feels confident rolling with Jermaine Eluemunor for Week 1, which only took 18 pre-season shots on the right edge in the first three games of the month.