Two weeks into the season and the Las Vegas Raiders are experiencing serious growing pains on the offensive line. Much of that is due to injuries but some of the new starters haven’t performed at a high level. One player who has struggled is rookie first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. The right tackle is having early troubles with penalties and has already allowed three sacks.
The Raiders are committed to him due to his high draft status and he deserves some time to develop. However, the team looks like they’re capable of making the playoffs and could attempt to make a win-now move. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes that the Raiders should call up the Philadelphia Eagles and make a trade for offensive tackle Andre Dillard:
It’s difficult to find a sure thing at tackle on the trade market. However, the Raiders could go the route of targeting a younger prospect looking for a change of scenery.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Andre Dillard fits that profile. The 2019 first-round pick lost the left tackle job to Jordan Mailata, who the team recently signed to a four-year contract extension.
Transitioning to right tackle is out of the cards in Philly with Lane Johnson manning the spot. However, a move could happen in a place like Las Vegas. Dillard posted a 59.7 grade from PFF with four sacks allowed on 337 snaps with just one penalty in his 2019 rookie campaign.
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Should Raiders Trade for Dillard?
Dillard came into the NFL as a first-round pick in 2019 but has yet to see significant time as a starter. He was supposed to be a starter last season but tore his bicep and missed the entire season. With the Eagles liking what they have in their two tackles, Dillard is quickly becoming an afterthought despite his draft status.
The Raiders obviously aren’t giving up on Leatherwood yet. Kolton Miller had a horrific rookie season but has developed into one of the better left tackles in the NFL. Leatherwood could experience similar growing pains. Obviously, if the asking price for Dillard is low, then perhaps the Raiders should consider a trade for him. That said, he’s going to run into the same problem that he has in Philadelphia. Miller is the starting left tackle for years to come and Leatherwood will be the starting right tackle for the foreseeable future.
Raiders Need Guard Help More Than Anything
The Raiders have long-term commitments at left tackle, right tackle and center. They aren’t going to make any big changes unless one of those three turns out to be a complete disaster. Las Vegas should be really concerned with what they have at guard.
Richie Incognito is nearing the end of his career and can’t stay healthy. Denzelle Good is done for the season. Second-year pro John Simpson could be a solid player but hasn’t shown the team a ton yet. If the NFL Draft was tomorrow, the Raiders would likely be using a first-round pick on a guard. That’s the biggest position of need on the entire team right now. There’s no reason for them to focusing on tackles at the moment.