The Las Vegas Raiders dealt with a number of injuries along the offensive line last season but weren’t affected by it too much thanks to solid depth. Based on how the team has attacked this offseason, it looks like they want to make sure their depth is even better.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders are signing veteran offensive tackle Sam Young to a one-year deal.
Young came into the NFL in 2010 as a sixth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys. He played one year there before moving onto the Buffalo Bills. Over his 10-year career, Young has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers.
Young Will Be Looking for Depth Role
The Raiders currently have 2018 first-round pick Kolton Miller starting on the left side and 2019 Pro Bowler Trent Brown starting on the right. The team is set with their tackles unless an injury is to strike. Young will be coming in to compete for a backup role. Las Vegas is loaded with guys who play guard, but only have two backup tackles currently in David Sharpe and Brandon Parker. While Sharpe was very solid in relief of Brown, Parker has been very disappointing.
Young was likely brought in to push Parker, who should be a cut candidate when training camp is over. He was a third-round pick in 2018 but has been one of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL. In Young, the Raiders are getting a player with a ton of experience. He hasn’t found stability with one team, but his experience should be an asset. The team will give Parker every chance to prove that they didn’t make a mistake when they drafted him, but Young won’t make it easy for him to keep a roster spot.
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Raiders Poised to Have One of the Best OLs in the NFL
As long as the unit remains healthy, the Raiders have one of the most stacked offensive lines in the NFL. Brown was an absolute force on the right side and should be going to a few more Pro Bowls. Rodney Hudson is arguably the best center in the NFL and an argument could be made that Richie Incognito is the best guard.
Gabe Jackson’s future is unclear, but if he sticks around, he should be an impact player at guard. Miller made huge strides in his second year with the team. He wasn’t perfect, but if he could take a similar leap in year three, he could turn into one of the better left tackles in the NFL.
The main concern with the offensive line is injuries. Every starter has dealt with significant injuries over the last couple of years. When they’re all on the field together, it’s almost impossible to get after Derek Carr. The team proved to have strong depth in 2019 and it appears their depth should be even better in 2020. It’s clear that Jon Gruden doesn’t want to take a lot of risks with his offensive line.