Thump In The Morning

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The Las Vegas Raiders are shifting their focus to the 2023 off season after being eliminated from playoff contention.

After losing 37-34 in overtime to the San Francisco 49ers, The Raiders finished the 2022 season with a 6-11 record, and are currently slated to have the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. This will be the Silver and Black’s highest first round draft pick since selecting Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 in 2019.

A large part of those offseason plans is looking at what positions they need to address through the draft.  The Raiders, first and foremost, need to shore up their interior defensive line. Over their last three games, they have allowed 160.7 rushing yards per game, the fifth-worst in the league in that span. Christian McCaffery ran for 121 yards on 19 carries on Sunday, good for 6.4 yards per carry. The Raiders only have three interior defensive linemen under contract for the 2023 season in rookies Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell Jr., as well as Bilal Nichols. They also took a flier on recently cut Jerry Tillery, who has played multiple positions on the defensive line since arriving in Vegas. The Raiders will want to add players who can consistently generate pressure from the interior, which would make Maxx Crosby’s and Chandler Jones’ jobs easier off the edge. If the Raiders want to improve their defense, they must start with the trenches.

The Raiders defiantly need to make some serious changes if they want to be a contending franchise. The fact that the Raiders were within a few plays of forcing overtime with the Cincinnati Bengals should tell the team that it is close to becoming a title contender. With a few tweaks, the roster could be good enough to challenge the top teams in the AFC.

5 Raiders who might be at risk of not returning in 2023 according to raiderramble.com

  • Clelin Ferrell Has Been A Bust, Simply Put

    Clelin Ferrel

    Clelin Ferrell was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Fast forward to 2022, and the Raiders decided not to pick up his fifth year option. It is, regrettably, an indictment of his future with the Silver and Black. Ferrell had no say in where or who drafted him, which is unfortunate for the Clemson product. Even so, his play has been, to put it mildly, subpar. During his time with the Raiders, he has recorded 82 total tackles and nine sacks. His counterpart from the same draft, Maxx Crosby, has exceeded and tripled his totals, despite being a fourth-round pick from a Mid-American Conference school. It’s time for a divorce between Ferrell and the Raiders. They have two defensive ends in Malcolm Koone and Tashawn Bower, who have shown more promise than Ferrell.

  • Josh Jacobs Is Playing Like A Man On A Mission, But Will The Raiders Pay Up?

    Josh Jacobs

    Drafting a running back in the first round of the NFL draft is typically a misuse of assets, as running back is the easiest position to find outside the first round. Josh Jacobs has had some success, but is that enough to warrant a second contract with the Raiders? He has accumulated over 1,200 scrimmage yards in his first three years, which is notable. Unfortunately, injuries, bad offensive line play, and an inconsistent offensive play caller have hindered his success. Jacobs is a good back, but the Raiders’ new regime did draft Zamir White in this past draft. They are also known for not paying running backs much money, as they usually run their running back rooms through a committee. Jacobs is the only 2019 first round draft pick that has possibly earned a second contract with his play, but unfortunately for him, he plays running back.

  • Does Johnathan Abram Figure Into The Raiders Long Term Plans?

    Johnathon Abram

    Safety Johnathan Abram started off his 2022 campaign strong, as defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was able to get him closer to the line of scrimmage, allowing him to make plays. But once Trevon Moehrig went out, the same old Abram we knew came back. Abram has always struggled with coverage, and it evidently is still an issue.

    In this day and age of the NFL, you can’t have a safety that can’t be trusted in coverage. Abram also makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to being unable to finish a blitz or missing tackles. The assurance of both having a proven veteran in Duron Harmon and Moehrig being an improving cover safety means Abram is the odd man out. They can’t waste money on a player who is better as a linebacker, despite him not being a linebacker.

     

  • Foster Moreau will be a starter, just not with the Raiders.

    Foster Moreau

    Head coach Josh McDaniels loves his two tight end sets, but a team is probably going to offer Moreau money that the Raiders won’t be able to match. Like wide receiver Zay Jones did with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. Good for Moreau; he deserves the bag. But have in mind it is probably not going to be from the Raiders, as they have already committed to Waller long term.

  • Is Brandon Parker’s Time With The Las Vegas Raiders Running Out?

    Brandon Parker

    Offensive tackle Brandon Parker was slated to be the Raiders’ starting right tackle this year, but an injury sidelined him for the season. This injury might have closed Parker’s chance to be a starter in this league. Your best ability is availability, and Parker hasn’t fit this mold. Injuries have always been attached to him during his playing career. Even when Parker was on the field, it wasn’t pretty. His play has been sloppy, to put it mildly. Whenever he was the right tackle, quarterback Derek Carr had to have eyes in the back of his head. General manager Dave Ziegler also acquired New England Patriots offensive tackles Justin Herron and Thayer Munford Jr. (via draft) and he’s familiar with Jermaine Eluemunor, who played with the Patriots from 2019-2020. It looks like the new Las Vegas Raiders regime is going to pick their own right tackle and not trust the homegrown one