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Las Vegas Raiders: Analyzing the offensive line and 5 possible free agent options

Moe Moton

Heading into the offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders had an offensive line that seemed primed for an overhaul. Thus far, the front office hasn’t made moves that indicate a forthcoming teardown of the unit.

Among the newcomers, Alex Bars stands out as the most notable free-agent signing. He’s a versatile veteran with 11 starts in three seasons with the Chicago Bears. Here’s a breakdown of his career snap count by position, per Pro Football Focus:

  • LT: 3
  • LG: 83
  • C: 77
  • RG: 457
  • RT: 44

Based on Bars’ experience, he’s an insurance policy for the right guard spot — or utility interior lineman. With injuries and the uncertainty of Alex Leatherwood’s position outlook, the Raiders may need the fourth-year pro to play meaningful snaps.

Analyzing the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line ahead of 2022 season

Instead of bringing in new players to take over or at least compete for starting roles, the front office has opted to re-sign familiar faces. The Raiders have retained Jackson Barton, Brandon Parker, and Jermaine Eluemunor, who posted an appropriate tweet.

Eluemunor has a good chance to claim a starting role in the upcoming season. He played for the New England Patriots between 2019 and 2020, starting in eight games during that period. Per Pro Football Focus, the 27-year-old has logged most of his snaps on the right side of the offensive line:

  • LT: 231
  • LG: 11
  • C: 0
  • RG: 463
  • RT: 281

Also notable, Vegas hasn’t cut Denzelle Good, whose contract carries a $3.7 million cap hit. He’s also a versatile offensive lineman who started the previous campaign at right guard before tearing his ACL. Let’s take a look at his career snap count via Pro Football Focus:

  • LT: 0
  • LG: 909
  • C: 0
  • RG: 1,018
  • RT: 861
Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Do you notice a pattern with Bars, Eluemunor, and Good? They all have significant experience at right guard. That doesn’t mean the new coaching staff will view Leatherwood as a right tackle, but the front office isn’t likely to invest big money or use a 3rd or 4th-round pick to bolster the interior position even if Leatherwood moves back outside.

Regardless, the Raiders should pair Leatherwood with a veteran on the right side of the offensive line, which means place your bets on an Eluemunor or Good lining up next to the second-year pro if the team doesn’t add a strong competitor to start at either spot on the right side.

For anyone wondering about Parker, he’s probably best in a swing tackle role. The North Carolina A&T product played most of his snaps on the left side as a collegian. In 2021, while exclusively on the right side, he gave up 54 quarterback pressures, which included nine sacks, per PFF.

Before we cement any names in the starting lineup, Vegas may still dip into the free-agent pool to strengthen the trenches before the 2022 draft. A handful of right tackles stand out.

5 OL options still available in free agency

Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Daryl Williams

Daryl Williams has played over 3,600 snaps at right tackle. If the Raiders sign him, he would definitely become the frontrunner to start. The Buffalo Bills cut him to save some money, but they’ll keep the door open to re-sign him, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Still only 29 years old with a ton of starting experience, Williams is arguably the best option at right tackle on the open market.

Billy Turner

Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While Williams may be the best option, Billy Turner can provide position flexibility. Here’s a look at Turner’s career snap count via PFF:

  • LT: 465
  • LG: 494
  • C: 0
  • RG: 2,251
  • RT: 1,674

After stints with the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos, Turner became a consistent starter with the Green Bay Packers, lining up with the first unit for all of his 43 appearances with the team. Going on 31 years old in October, he’s a little older than Williams, but he can play anywhere on the line except the pivot as a solid pass-blocker.

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Cameron Fleming

In a ranking system, Cameron Fleming isn’t on the same level as Williams or Turner, but he has Patriots ties with four seasons in Josh McDaniels’ offense between 2014 and 2017. New England drafted him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, and he logged most of his snaps at right tackle. The 29-year-old has 46 starts in eight seasons.

Marcus Cannon

Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Like Fleming, Marcus Cannon has Patriots ties but for a longer period. He played nine seasons in New England (2011-2019) before the team traded him to the Houston Texans. Going into his age-34 term, he has a lot of wear and tear on his body and missed 12 games last year. However, when healthy, the savvy veteran has performed well on run and pass-blocking downs.

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Cannon has served as a starter in all of his appearances since 2016. Perhaps, the 12th-year pro becomes a high-level backup at right tackle where he’s played 5,700-plus snaps.

Cornelius Lucas

Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Cornelius Lucas doesn’t come from the Patriots’ pipeline, but he started in eight out of 16 games for the Bears while Raiders assistant general manager Champ Kelly had a front-office position with the NFC North club in 2019.

Through the 2019 season, Lucas allowed 12 quarterback pressures and one sack while on the field for 507 offensive snaps, per PFF. Over the past two seasons with the Washington Commanders, he’s started in 15 out of 29 contests at left and right tackle, surrendering 42 pressures and six sacks through 1,195 snaps. For comparison, left tackle Kolton Miller has permitted 35 pressures and four sacks in his last 1,216 snaps.

Without a first or second-round pick, expect the Raiders to add one or two more offensive linemen capable of pushing for a starting job. Even if the coaching staff feels confident in its ability to develop the roster holdovers, the unit remains relatively thin behind a shaky starting lineup. At least one of the players listed above can fill some gaps.

Maurice Moton covers the Raiders for Sportsnaut. You can follow him on Twitter at @MoeMoton.