The Las Vegas Raiders are preparing for their first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and many eyes will be watching the offensive line. Outside of left tackle Kolton Miller, every position on the offensive line is up for grabs. Right tackle is perhaps the most interesting fight to watch.
Brandon Parker has gotten the majority of first-team snaps. That doesn’t bode well for Alex Leatherwood, who was selected in the first round of 2021. He was even spotted practicing with the third-team offensive line recently. However, it seems his hopes of a launch haven’t quite died just yet.
Before the first game of preseason, the Raiders released their first depth chart, which surprisingly got Leatherwood the starting right.
Based on training camp, it seems like Parker will almost certainly be listed as #1 correct tackle. That being said, trainers don’t put too much weight on these early depth charts. Parker could still be the favorite for the starting job, but the coaches don’t have a definitive starter just yet. While that bodes well for Leatherwood, Parker’s job could still be the right tackle.
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There weren’t too many surprises from the Raiders’ first depth map, and everything is subject to change. Johnathan Abram appears to have cemented himself as a starting security. There were some fears he could lose his job due to his reporting problems, but there are signs he has won the favor of defense coordinator Patrick Graham.
Mack Hollins appears to have earned the spot as the No. 3 wide receiver. He impressed coaches and teammates in training camp. He should play a solid role this season. The biggest surprise is that Leatherwood is listed as the correct starting device, but there will surely be more as the off-season progresses.
Lester Cotton is a name that Raiders fans should be familiar with by now. He has been on and off the squad since 2019. The former Alabama offensive lineman has only played five games in his career and has yet to make a start. That could change as he has impressed the new coaching staff this offseason.
He has taken many of the first-team representatives to right guard and has been listed as a starter on the first depth chart. It seems odd that Cotton came out of nowhere after having three seasons to prove himself, but it didn’t happen by accident. The Guard recently made some big changes to put themselves in a better position to succeed.
“I had to get out of my own way,” Cotton said Monday, “and see myself as a person and as a player. I had to come full circle — I did everything I could on the field and in the briefing room, but I didn’t do it on the nutrition side. I had to take some time off and really dial in, and the nutritionists here and the coaching staff have helped me all the way.”
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