The Las Vegas Raiders are gearing up for their first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and many eyes will be watching the offensive line. Outside of left tackle Kolton Miller, every position on the offensive line is up for grabs. Right tackle is perhaps the most interesting battle to watch.
Brandon Parker has been getting the majority of the first-team snaps. That’s not a great sign for 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. He was even seen practicing with the third-team offensive line recently. However, it appears his hopes of starting aren’t dead quite yet.
Ahead of the first preseason game, the Raiders released their first depth chart which surprisingly has Leatherwood as the starting right tackle.
Based on training camp, it seems like Parker would almost certainly be listed as the No. 1 right tackle. With that said, coaches don’t put too much weight into these early depth charts. Parker could still be the favorite for the starting job but the coaches don’t have a definitive starter quite yet. Though this is a good sign for Leatherwood, right tackle could still be Parker’s job to lose.
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Other Interesting Notes From the Depth Chart
There weren’t too many surprises from the Raiders’ first depth chart and everything is still subject to change. Johnathan Abram appears to have cemented himself as the starting safety. There was some worry that he might lose his job due to his issues in coverage but it’s becoming apparent that he’s gained the favor of defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
Mack Hollins appears to have earned the spot as the No. 3 wide receiver. He’s impressed coaches and teammates during training camp. He should have a solid role this season. The biggest surprise is Leatherwood being listed as the starting right tackle but there are bound to be more as the offseason goes on.
Lester Cotton Could Win a Starting Job
Lester Cotton is a name that Raiders fans should be familiar with by now. He’s been on and off the roster since 2019. The former Alabama offensive lineman has only played in five games in his career and has yet to make a start. That could change as he’s been impressing the new coaching staff this offseason.
He’s been taking many of the first-team reps at right guard and was listed as the starter on the first depth chart. It seems odd that Cotton would come out of nowhere after having three seasons to prove himself but it didn’t happen by accident. The guard made some big changes recently to put himself in a better position to succeed.
“I had to get out of my own way,” Cotton said Monday, “and see myself for who I was as a person and as a player. I had to complete the circle — I was doing everything I could on the field and in the meeting room, but I wasn’t doing it on the nutrition side. I had to take time out and really dial in, and the nutritionists here and the coaching staff helped me the whole way.”
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