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2021 Raider Depth Chart


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1 hour ago, NYRaider said:

Is it really a surprise that our interior OL has struggled though? James hadn't ever played and struggled in the little playing time he did get before this season. Richie Incognito is old now and has been injured for almost 2.5 years at this point. Losing Good hurt but from the beginning most here thought it was questionable to expect Incognito/James to play well for us. 

Leatherwood is a LT trying to transition to RT, we've seen other guys struggle with it in the past. 

I think you hit the nail in the head. I think the issue is not that we've struggled with backups in and inexperience on the OL due to injuries but that we all saw this coming. 

I'm a big fan of Incognito, but am also realistic enough to realise that he's not going to give us a full season. So you know a backup will be playing for a chunk of the games. We know a rookie is starting at RT and rookies have ups and downs, to expect him to come in and play lights out us unrealistic. James at centre was a partial unknown and very inexperienced, again, expecting him to simply step into Hudson's shoes is misguided and basically asking for trouble.

Now, we didn't expect Good to get injured but we should have expected some injuries, it always happens so although it's tough it was always likely that Littlewood would struggle, James might struggle and that one of the other three would get injured at some point, probably Incognito. It was totally obvious that we may have three players in who had not shown any NFL starting calibre talents, had very little experience and were all 'potential'. We're at the point where we've actually got four guys like that in, but it was not all that unforseeable. Even if we had Good we'd still have 3 of our OL struggling and more bad than good. We could potentially alleviate some of that by starting Martin who can't be worse than James can he?

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1 hour ago, NYRaider said:

Relying on Alex Leatherwood as the starter is iffy. 

I'm not happy with that at all. Gabe Jackson was a very good starting guard for us and we took him in the 3rd round. Good has been a solid starting guard and he was an UDFA that we signed in free agency for the low. And as you said Eleumunor has been our 2nd best OL this season, didn't we sign him off someone's practice squad? So how can Leatherwood at OG be a good value pick at #17 when we've found good starting guards in the middle of the draft/free agency for years? 

We could've used the 17th pick on someone like Jaelen Phillips, Jamin Davis, Gregory Rousseau, etc. who would've helped us win games immediately. And to add insult to injury just look at the Chiefs. They drafted Creed Humphrey in the late 2nd round and he has been the 4th best center in the league this season. Then followed that up by taking Trey Smith in the 6th and he has been one of the better guards in the league. 

My man crush Spencer Brown (who the Bills took in the 3rd) just beat out Cody Ford to be their starting RT and has played well. 

As far as I'm aware no one was a fan of the pick and no one has been a fan of his play so I'm not defending Leatherwood himself... my only justification for it was it was a big need and they selected the player they believed to be the best but as we know their talent evaluation isn't looking great so far.

Every position has examples of lower picks having more success than early picks... But specifically taking the Raiders success at finding guards into account off the top of my head I can only think of Gabe from the draft, who I considered his peak to be a great passblocker but lacking in the run game. Otherwise we have Feliciano who never got a shot and Simpson who is struggling. As you mentioned Denzelle was solid and had some strong games but his value really shone when it came to versatility and salary. Eleumunor being the second best lineman is more to do with how bad the rest of the line is...

The examples of good guards we've had are more signing proven talent in Osemele and Incognito so this would have been the best alternate route. But when I say I'd be happy with a quality starting guard at 17 I'm expecting them to play better and have more potential than a lower round selection + allow us to sign proven FAs to other positions. In terms of early impact I'd rather sign a proven passrusher and draft a (worthy) guard at 17 than vice versa.

I haven't really watched other teams play so can't comment on the alternate picks you mentioned other than to say we already had money tied up (unfortunately) at LB in Kwit/Littleton and Morrow came on strong at the end of last year. On the defensive line they had invested in FAs Ngakoue/Nassib, drafted Clellin, and Maxx had shown potential. So unless you're going to go back and change the FAs they signed the primary needs in the draft were 3T, FS, RT.

I believe that success breeds success, so you have to take into account the level of play of the players around them. The issue with what the Raiders did is not that they drafted a RT or guard in the first but their talent evaluation and the resulting situation. Leatherwood was meant to be playing on a line that had Incognito and Denzelle Good starting. Denzelle being injured was bad luck, and Simpson they determined was sufficient depth at LG. I'm not going to go into the Andre James situation other than they signed an insurance option but have been too stubborn to make the swap.

In terms of Spencer Brown that just reflects on the quality of talent evaluation and coaching in comparison. The issue shouldn't be with what position is taken where but with talent evaluation and trying to take development players when we need impact players. 

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3 hours ago, Ryno said:

I believe that success breeds success, so you have to take into account the level of play of the players around them. The issue with what the Raiders did is not that they drafted a RT or guard in the first but their talent evaluation and the resulting situation. Leatherwood was meant to be playing on a line that had Incognito and Denzelle Good starting. Denzelle being injured was bad luck, and Simpson they determined was sufficient depth at LG. I'm not going to go into the Andre James situation other than they signed an insurance option but have been too stubborn to make the swap.

Well he is in a make or break season. Carr, Mayock, and Gruden all might be gone after this season but hey, at least we might have a guy who could be a good guard in 2 seasons.

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