Raiders select Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. in latest 2023 NFL mock draft

Raiders select another offensive tackle in latest 2023 NFL mock draft

In a recent mock draft done by The Athletic, they had the Raiders picking in the middle of the first round. And to no one’s surprise, they selected an offensive tackle in Round 1.

The pick was Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., who will be moving to offensive tackle during the 2022 college football season. Here is what they had to say about his potential fit in Las Vegas:

“It was a rough go for former Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood in Las Vegas, and the slide continued through training camp. The Raiders cut Leatherwood on Tuesday, so they really might need to look at OT next offseason.

Johnson is still working on transitioning from guard to tackle, and he probably projects better on the left side. Though that could be a tricky fit with Kolton Miller already playing there for Las Vegas, the Raiders might not have any choice but to address a potential hole.”

From now until Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, you are going to see mock drafters match an offensive tackle with the Raiders in Round 1. After releasing Leatherwood before the 2022 season, the Raiders have a massive hole at right tackle that they need to fill next off-season.

Johnson wouldn’t be a bad fit on the right side of the offensive line for the Raiders, but he just doesn’t have a lot of experience playing on that side. Much like Leatherwood, he would need to make the transition from college left tackle to NFL right tackle.

Keep an eye on Johnson during the Ohio State-Notre Dame contest on Saturday night in Week 1 of the college football season.

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10 rookies make Raiders 53-man roster and who they replaced

These. are the 10 rookies who made Raiders 53-man roster and who they replaced

New regimes like their own guys and tend to have little attachment to the players from the previous regimes. But even knowing that, it’s a bit unusual for every one of a team’s draft class to make their initial 53-man roster.

Not only did that happen with the Raiders, but they also added four undrafted rookies as well — LB Darien Butler, LB Luke Masterson, CB Sam Webb, and S Isaiah Pola-Mao.

Having four undrafted guys make the roster is a fact of which head coach Josh McDaniels is quite proud.

“They’ve had their opportunities, they’ve improved, they work really hard, and it’s important to them,” McDaniels said of his undrafted rookies. “We’ve got a lot of players who were vying for a lot of spots obviously. And those four guys came here and really just put their heads down and continued to get better and make progress and they’ve all shown the ability to help us compete on fourth down and in the kicking game. There’s a lot of reasons you try to put together a roster that’s diverse and those types of things, but those guys have all earned the opportunity that they have in front of them and they’re going to continue to have to earn it.”

Sam Webb in particular went undrafted out of Missouri Western and played extremely well in the preseason finale against the Patriots.

Webb’s emergence was at least partially responsible for the team trading Trayvon Mullen to the Cardinals.

“We’re going to do what we think is best for the team at this point in time and we’ve had some guys who’ve shown up at that position and really done some good things; Sam [Webb] is one of them. So, hard choices sometimes, based on total numbers and what you’re going to keep at a certain spot. Just thought it gave us an opportunity to add something. He’ll have a fresh start in Arizona and I wish him the best of luck.”

Webb has even taken Mullen’s number 27, switching from the temporary number 48 he wore in camp and preseason.

For each rookie who makes the roster, there is another player who is cut to make room for them. Often players who were previously established.

Here are the ten Raiders rookies who made the squad and the player who was cut to make room for them;

C/G Dylan Parham (D-3) — G Alex Bars
RB Zamir White (D-4) — RB Trey Ragas
DT Neil Farrell Jr (D-4) — DT Kyle Peko
DT Matthew Butler (D-5) — DT Vernon Butler
T Thayer Munford (D-7) — T Alex Leatherwood
RB Brittain Brown (D-7) — RB Kenyan Drake
LB Darien Butler (UDFA) — LB Micah Kiser (IR)
LB Luke Masterson (UDFA) — LB Kenny Young
CB Sam Webb (UDFA) — CB Trayvon Mullen (traded to Cardinals)
S Isaiah Pola-Mao (UDFA) — S Tyree Gillespie (traded to Titans)

A few other nice stories of players earning a spot on this roster out of camp include WR DJ Turner, TE Jesper Horsted, T Jackson Barton, and DE Tashawn Bower.

Raiders waive former 2021 first-round pick OL Alex Leatherwood

After failing to find trade partner, Raiders cut Alex Leatherwood

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And just like that, Alex Leatherwood’s time with the Raiders is done. Just last year he was the team’s top pick at 17 overall and now the team is waiving him according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The team has reportedly been shopping Leatherwood in trades but did not receive any offers, so Leatherwood is out.

He was supposed to be the answer at right tackle to replace Trent Brown, but after just four games at that spot, he played so poorly, that he was moved inside to guard.

Despite most draft profiles on Leatherwood being a guard at NFL level, he didn’t fair well there either.

This offseason, reports had him working hard to be the team’s right tackle this season. He was given every opportunity to claim the job but ended up looking even worse this camp and preseason than he had as a rookie, first being supplanted by Brandon Parker, then even falling behind rookie seventh-round pick Thayer Munford on the depth chart.

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Tashawn Bower, Malcolm Koonce give Raiders reason to feel good about edge rusher depth

Raiders have to come out of Friday night feeling pretty confident in their depth behind Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones

If Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones aren’t the best pass rushing duo in the NFL, they’re very close to it. But for the Raiders, the question was what about behind them? What about when they need a breather or in the event one of them is lost to injury. Who steps in or steps up?

Throughout the preseason, the answer has developed slowly, and as of Friday night’s final preseason game against the Patriots, the answer is clear — it’s Malcolm Koonce and Tashawn Bower. And both of the gave the Raiders every reason to feel pretty good about that.

Bower in particular, had two sacks on the night, which, added to his previous total, gives him four sacks this preseason. I asked him how he felt about the position he put himself in as far as being the next man up after Crosby and Jones.

“I feel like I’ve done a good job, but I’m going to let the coaches decide that,” said Bower. “We have a lot of other good players too who can do great things, so whatever I can do to fit in in my role and have a piece on this defense or on this team, I’m ready to accept it.”

Bower has bounced around some in his career, first signing with the Vikings undrafted free agent out of LSU and then spending a couple seasons with the Patriots as well. In both instances, bouncing back and forth between the practice squad and the active roster.

Koonce is entering his second season after being selected in the third round of the 2021 draft. He has been getting good pressure all preseason and added his second sack Friday night. He also had another play that he got pressure to force his man to draw a holding penalty to keep him from blowing up the play.

It’s important to note, these weren’t the Patriots’ second and third team players they were going against. Bower and Koonce did much of their damage against the Patriots’ first team offense.

“That just shows our depth,” said Koonce. “Everybody plays hard, so it’s great to go against a starting offense and produce.”

What this means for Clelin Ferrel is less certain. The former top pick was injured most of camp and returned last week. In the practices since, and even before that, he was bounced around as the team tries to find a place where he can thrive, At this point it doesn’t look like that position exists.

The team might have held onto him regardless had they not been able to find production from anyone else. And it’s certainly possible they will hold onto Ferrell, if for no other reason than cutting him would come with a sizable amount of dead money left behind.

Most importantly, though, the play of Koonce and Bower could remove the part of the Ferrell dilemma that involves whether they have proper depth at defensive end.

Raiders 53-man roster prediction for 2022 season

Raiders 53-man roster prediction

Today is the day. The first cutdown is upon us from 90 to 85 players. Before that cutdown happens, it’s time to make my 53-man roster prediction.

Quarterbacks

IN: Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham, Nick Mullens

OUT: Chase Garbers

Running backs

IN: Josh Jacobs, Jakob Johnson (FB), Kenyon Drake, Ameer Abdullah, Zamir White

OUT: Brittain Brown, Brandon Bolden, Austin Walter

Wide receivers

IN: Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Mack Hollins, Keelan Cole, Demarcus Robinson, Tyron Johnson

OUT: DJ Turner, Justin Hall, Chris Lacy, Isaiah Zuber, Dillon Stoner

Tight ends

IN: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Nick Bowers, Jacob Hollister

OUT: Jesper Hostead, Cole Fotheringham

Offensive linemen

IN: T Kolton Miller, G John Simpson, C Andre James, G Lester Cotton Sr, T/G Jermaine Eluemunor,  T/G Alex Leatherwood, C/G Dylan Parham, T Thayer Munford

OUT: Brandon Parker (IR), Hroniss Grasu, Jackson Barton, Tyrone Wheatley, Alex Bars, Jordan Meredith, Bamidele Olaseni

Defensive interior line

IN: Bilal Nichols, Kyle Peko, Andrew Billings, Matthew Butler, Neil Farrell Jr

OUT: Johnathan Hankins (IR), Vernon Butler, Tyler Lancaster, Kendal Vickers, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa

Edge rushers

IN: Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, Malcolm Koonce, Clelin Ferrell

OUT: Gerri Green, Zach VanValkenburg, Tashawn Bower

Linebackers

IN: Divine Deablo, Denzel Perryman, Jayon Brown, Kenny Young, Darien Butler

OUT: Curtis Bolton, Luke Masterson

Cornerbacks

IN: Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin, Nate Hobbs, Anthony Averett, Darius Phillips

OUT: Amik Robertson, Sam Webb, Bryce Cosby, Chris Jones, Isiah Brown, Nate Brooks

Safeties

IN: Johnathan Abram, Tre’von Moehrig, Tyree Gillespie, Duron Harmon, Roderic Teamer

OUT: Qwynnterrio Cole, Isaiah Pola-Mao, Matthias Farley

Specialists

IN: K Daniel Carlson, P AJ Cole, LS Trent Sieg

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Thayer Munford gets the start at right tackle for Raiders vs Vikings

Thayer Munford starting at RT for Raiders while Jermaine Eluemunor gets a shot at left tackle

After seeing his snaps increase in practice this week with the injury to Brandon Parker, rookie seventh round pick Thayer Munford got the start at right tackle for the Raiders in their second preseason game vs the Vikings Sunday.

It was becoming pretty clear that Munford was going to see a lot of snaps in this game, but the question was whether he would be the first on the field. That proved to be the case.

Meanwhile getting the start at left tackle was Jermaine Eluemunor who saw most of his snaps at right tackle in the Hall of Fame game last week.

Parker had started at left tackle in the preseason opener and had a rough go of it to say the least. While starting at right tackle was Alex Leatherwood and Eluemunor came in later.

The Raiders not only need to find someone to be their starting right tackle, but they are looking for a reserve swing tackle as well. Should Munford and Eluemunor play well at their respective positions in this one, they could make a strong case to fill those two roles.

5 Raiders to watch in preseason matchup with Vikings

Raiders vs Vikings kicks off shortly. Here are 5 Raiders to watch

Shortly the Raiders and Vikings will kick off for their preseason matchup. From the sounds of it, we won’t see much in the way of sure starters again, which is fine, because what we want to see are guys trying to prove they belong. Here are five of those players to keep an eye on today.

T Thayer Munford

The rookie seventh round pick has been the talk of camp of late. Mainly because, with Brandon Parker injured, Munford is getting increased snaps. He is also drawing raves from his teammates for the improvement he’s showed in his short time with the team.

I would expect Munford to get a large dose of snaps at right tackle as the team both looks to see what they have in the former Buckeye, but tries to find a solution at the right tackle spot.

RB Ameer Abdullah

James White retired this week. Why is that applicable? Well, because White was the outlet for Josh McDaniels’s offense out of the backfield for the past eight years and put up some impressive numbers in the process. Some think Abdullah can play that role for McDaniels in Las Vegas.

Abdullah had two catches for 23 yards in the Hall of Fame game, so keep an eye on him in this one as well.

WR Mack Hollins

For all the hype Hollins was garnering in camp leading up to the Hall of Fame game, he had just one catch for a loss in the game. That could just be McDaniels hiding his intentions for Hollins, but be on the look out to see if Hollins will peel back the curtain a little bit and show up today against the Vikings.

LB Darien Butler

Butler led the Raiders in tackles in the Hall of Fame game. All eyes should be on him again in this one with Denzel Perryman, Divine Deablo, and Kenny Young not expected to play. If he has a repeat performance, the undrafted rookie could make a strong push to make this roster.

CB Amik Robertson

There has been expectations of Robertson in each of his first two seasons that he never lived up to. Once again, there is talk that he could be pushing for playing time at outside cornerback. And with Trayvon Mullen still on PUP and Rock Ya-Sin, Anthony Averett not expected to play, Robertson should get his first shot to show what he brings to the tabkle. He didn’t play in the Hall of Fame game.

Raiders select Clemson DT Bryan Bresee in latest 2023 NFL mock draft

Raiders add defensive tackle in latest 2023 NFL mock draft

We are just days away from the Raiders participating in the first preseason game of the year. Expectations are high after all the big-time additions the team has made this offseason.

However, it’s never too early to look ahead to next year’s draft to get an idea of who might be available for the Raiders when they are on the clock.

In a recent mock draft by Luke Easterling of the Draft Wire, he had the Raiders selecting Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Breese in the middle of Round 1. Here is what Easterling had to say about that potential pairing:

“The Raiders have one of the best edge-rushing tandems in the NFL in Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, but they could use a similar disruptive force for the interior of the defensive line. Bresee missed most of last season due to injury, but at full strength, can be a dominant player.”

The Raiders did spend two draft picks on defensive tackles this offseason, but both Matthew Butler and Neil Ferrell are more rotation players than starters. The Raiders need a stud in the middle of their defense that can win one-on-one matchups and create havoc inside.

Breese is the type of player that can have that sort of impact. Don’t expect him to last very long in next year’s draft class.

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Former Raiders 1st-round pick Damon Arnette arrested on drug charges

Damon Arnette has been arrested again

Four games into Damon Arnette’s second season with the Raiders, the team cut ties with him. To grow tired of a first-round pick and cut him that quickly is usually a sign he had used up all his chances.

Since then, things have only gotten worse for Arnette.

Last January, he was arrested on charges of pulling a gun on a valet. And on the same day those charges by the Clark County DA, Arnette was again arrested in Florida on drug charges.

According to the TMZ report, Arnette was pulled over twice within a few hours of each other. The first time he was cited for driving with a suspended license.

The officers gave another person in the car permission to drive the car, but a few hours later, Arnette was again spotted driving the car and was thus pulled over again.

This time they searched Arnette and the police claim to have found a small bag of what was believed to be cocaine. At which point he was arrested for drug possession.

Arnette hasn’t been able to go long between incidents, either involving weapons or vehicles.

The incident that ended his short tenure in Las Vegas was a video he posted on Instagram in which he was wielding several firearms and threatening to kill someone.

And when he was released, it was revealed that during Arnette’s rookie season, he had crashed four rental cars in a month’s time.

When the Raiders drafted Arnette, he came with some red flags for incidents that occurred during his time at Ohio State. But the team was convinced enough that he had grown up and put his troubles behind him. Or perhaps Jon Gruden was convinced.

I asked GM Mike Mayock shortly after Arnette’s release if there were signs of this type of behavior and Mayock admitted he had “significant concern” with Arnette’s character.

As someone who covered Arnette as a Raiders player, he was a bit of a strange guy, albeit a fun person to speak with. Hopefully, he can get the help he needs to clean up his act.

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Raiders place 3 projected starters on PUP list to start training camp

Three projected starters to start Raiders camp on PUP list

Tomorrow is report day for Raiders veterans, with the first practice taking place on Thursday. Those practices will begin without three players on the field — all of whom are projected starters.

Today the Raiders announced defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Bilal Nichols along with cornerback Trayvon Mullen will begin camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Mullen had offseason foot surgery while Hankins and Nichols’s injuries have not been revealed.

The interior defensive line figures to be led by Hankins and Nichols this season. Hankins was re-signed while the former Bears DT Nichols signed as a free agent.

Other defensive tackles vying for playing time in rotation include free agent additions Vernon Butler, Kyle Peko, and Andrew Billings and drafted rookies Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell Jr.

Mullen would appear to have an inside track on one of the starting outside cornerback jobs. Though that job is not guaranteed and missing extended time could give one of the other hopefuls a chance to prove they deserve a shot at unseating him.

The Raiders added several free agent cornerbacks this offseason including Rock Ya-Sin, Anthony Averett, and Darius Phillips. While Nate Hobbs will once again start inside at nickel.