Raiders O-Line Projected to Get Boost From Versatile Veteran

Isaiah Wynn, veteran offensive lineman

Getty Isaiah Wynn, veteran offensive lineman

In general, the Raiders offensive line has held up well through the first third of this NFL season. The team ranks eighth in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, in pass blocking, with a mark of 71.6. They’re 15th in run blocking, at 61.7, and that number has been improving as the weeks have gone on.

But there are, no doubt, weak spots on the Raiders offensive line, and if they do not make a move to bolster the unit before the NFL trade deadline, a shake-up is all but guaranteed next season. Jermaine Eluemunor has had his struggles—remember Khalil Mack?—and can be a free agent after the season.

There’s more potential upheaval for the Raiders offensive line, too. As PFF wrote this week: “Right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor … may not be a long-term option. Center Andre James and right guard Greg Van Roten are both impending free agents, so a rookie who could start at guard as he develops would add value right out of the gate.”

PFF suggests that the Raiders could target Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton to that end, but in free agency, the site pegs a veteran with ties to coach Josh McDaniels as the top target: Dolphins lineman Isaiah Wynn.

Isaiah Wynn Can Play Guard or Tackle

Wynn is an interesting case, a player who was drafted in the first round by New England in 2018 before he tore his Achilles tendon. He worked with McDaniels for the first four years of his career, and was a solid contributor on the line for the Patriots. Wynn has struggled to stay healthy last season, and signed with Miami.

He will be a free agent this offseason, and the Raiders offensive line will be in need of veteran depth.

Here’s how PFF put it:

“Wynn made his Dolphins debut at guard, but he could still kick back out to tackle — his ability to play on the inside is just a bonus. Wynn has dealt with injuries throughout his career but earned 70.0-plus pass-block grades in each season from 2019 to 2021. Jermaine Eluemunor has been a fit after following Josh McDaniels from New England to Las Vegas, so perhaps Wynn can follow the same path.”

Lincoln Kennedy: Raiders Offensive Line ‘Suspect’

While much has been made of the turnovers and decision-making at quarterback, fact is, Jimmy Garoppolo’s quickfire style has helped to mask some of the deficiencies on the Raiders offensive line.

That’s been especially difficult for one of the great linemen in Raiders history, Lincoln Kennedy, who now does the team’s radio broadcasts.

“Our offensive line play has been suspect … there’s a lot of things that have got to change,” Kennedy said of the Raiders offensive line.

“You’ve got to make adjustments for your weaknesses and after a month of football you see that Eluemunor is struggling at tackle. There’s been times where your interior three have struggled to protect. You gotta do a much better job of picking up games and stunts, and they haven’t done that.”

It is unlikely that they will do it in the coming weeks, even with the NFL’s trade deadline looming. But a guy like Wynn—and/or Guyton—could help solve the problems down the line.

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