With the NFL Draft and free agency now in the past, it appears the Las Vegas Raiders are pretty much set with their offensive line. The team added two offensive linemen in the draft and an undrafted free agent. However, they weren’t done there.
Las Vegas announced on Thursday that they’ve signed offensive guard Marquel Harrell.
We have signed free agent G Marquel Harrell.
More » https://t.co/SbNa60I9ZW pic.twitter.com/cpMq0wXStv
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) May 6, 2021
Harrell came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent last year. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills and spent some time on their practice squad. He didn’t end up playing any games but he’s got a strong college background. He started two years for the Auburn Tigers and was named third-team All-SEC in 2018.
The Raiders added a lot of offensive linemen between the draft and free agency so it’ll be an uphill battle for Harrell to make the roster. There could be some opportunity at guard considering Richie Incognito has dealt with injuries the last two years and Denzelle Good has primarily been a backup in recent years. If Harrell hopes to make the team, he’ll have to impress in training camp.
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Raiders Should Be Feeling Better About OL
When the Raiders traded away Gabe Jackson, Trent Brown and Rodney Hudson, many fans were ready to panic. The team also cut Incognito and Good was a free agent. For a minute, it looked like the team would have four news starters on the offensive line. Luckily, they were able to get Incognito back on a cheaper deal and re-sign Good.
Kolton Miller and Andre James were handed contract extensions recently so it’s clear the Raiders believe that they could be the left tackle and center of the future. The team also used a first-round pick to land a right tackle in Alex Leatherwood. While there are still a lot of variables, Las Vegas should at least be feeling better about the offensive line. They are relying heavily on youth, which isn’t always ideal, but could pay off as the team was able to spend more money on defense this offseason.
Leatherwood Confident He Can Be Impact Player
The key to the Raiders’ offensive line this season could end up being Leatherwood. He was a four-year starter at Alabama, which is probably the closest thing to NFL experience you can get in college football. When healthy, Trent Brown was one of the best right tackles in the NFL. However, he was rarely healthy. If Leatherwood can play all 17 games this season, that’s already an upgrade for the Raiders. Though many questioned the team’s decision to take him in the first round, he believes that he’s going to thrive with his new team.
“I feel like I bring a great skillset,” Leatherwood said after getting drafted. “I have all the intangibles, great length, great speed, great athleticism. All of that good stuff. But as far as the position, we haven’t talked about it yet and to be honest with you, it doesn’t matter. I’m just happy and excited to be a Raider and I’m going to be the best at whatever position I play.”
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