Las Vegas Raiders Off-season/Draft Recap and Outlook
Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders first season in Las Vegas was a disappointment as their playoff hopes were crushed as they lost four of their last six games and finished 8-8.  

     The Raiders had a very good offense, but it was their defense that let them down over and over which led to the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.  To replace Guenther, the Raiders hired Gus Bradley, who was the defensive coordinator for the division rival Los Angeles Chargers.  With a focus on improving the defense, the Raiders signed one of the top pass rushers available in Yannick Ngakoue to a two year old deal in free agency.  They also added Solomon Thomas, the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, to the defensive line.

     The most surprising moves off the offseason came on the offensive line.  It was no surprise that the Raiders severed ties with disappointing offensive tackle Trent Brown, trading him to the New England Patriots, but the decisions to trade center Rodney Hudson and offensive guard Gabe Jackson were head-scratching to say the least.

     Another surprising move on the offensive side of the ball was signing former Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake.  He will add more firepower to an offense that allows already boasts running back Josh Jacobs and breakout tight end Darren Waller.  The Raiders allowed wide receiver Nelson Agholor to depart in free agency and signed John Brown and Willie Snead to replace his production.  

     With the 17th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Raiders surprisingly selected University of Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood as the Raiders likely could have traded back and still gotten their man.  In the second round, the Raiders selected TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who was regarded as the best safety in the draft.  The Raiders reached for Leatherwood, but got a steal in Moehrig so in the end it all worked out as they added a playmaker on defense and a young offensive linemen. 

The Raiders next four picks were spent on the defensive side of the ball as they selected University of Buffalo defensive end Malcolm Koonce, Virginia Tech linebacker/safety Divine Deablo, University of Missouri safety Tyree Gillespie and University of Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs.

Overall, the Raiders made some solid improvements like hiring Bradley and signing Ngakoue, but reshaping the offensive line was unexpected.  

Key additions

DE Yannick Ngakoue 

RB Kenyan Drake

WR John Brown

DT Solomon Thomas

DB Casey Hayward

C Nick Martin

DB Karl Joseph

WR Willie Snead

Key losses

WR Nelson Agholor

C Rodney Hudson

OG Gabe Jackson

OT Trent Brown

DT Maurice Hurst

DE Arden Key

Off-season grade: C