What type of impact should we expect from newcomers?
It was a wild offseason of additions for the Las Vegas Raiders. They brought in several players who will be given the chance to help the team right away.
Let’s look at the additions by tiers in terms of the impact these players I expect them to make.
Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, safety Tre’von Moehrig, running back Kenyan Drake.
Ngakoue is the star 2021 addition, but I love the Moehrig pick. The Raiders had to move up to get him when he fell to No. 43. I’m very interested to see how much an impact he can make as a rookie. The Drake move is big for the Las Vegas offense. He gives it an another dimension.
Cornerback Casey Hayward, Wide receiver John Brown, tackle Alex Leatherwood,
I was tempted to put Hayward in Tier 1. I don’t think he is an elite cornerback, but I think the Raiders have big plans for him and he will be one of the most impactful new additions. Brown has a chance to have an Nelson Agholor-role in the offense and Leatherwood, the No. 17 overall pick, steps in as the starting right tackle. There is a lot of impact here.
Wide receiver Willie Snead, center Nick Martin , defensive tackle Solomon Thomas, defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, Defensive tackle Darius Philon, safety Karl Joseph, safety Tyree Gillespie.
This is the meat of the tier groups. There are several players here who should help the Raiders, including three defensive tackles. Note that I put Gillespie here. I think the fourth-round pick has a chance to play right away as a rookie.
Pass-rusher Malcolm Koonce, linebacker/safety Divine Deablo, cornerback Nate Hobbs, cornerback Rasul Douglas.
There are three draft picks in this tier. Don’t read into this as me saying I don’t think they will be high-impact players ever for the Raiders. There is just going to be a learning curve, which is fine.
Center Jimmy Morrissey, defensive tackle Darius Stills, wide receiver Dillon Stoner.
Morrissey, a seventh-round pick and Stills and Stoner (both undrafted free agents) will be players to watch in training camp as will be some other undrafted players.