NFL Franchise Exit Report: Las Vegas Raiders

By: Little Italy (Publisher)

Follow on Twitter: @LILITALY853

Division: AFC West

2020 Finish: 16th

Record: (8-8)

2021 First RD Draft Pick: 17th

What went Right in 2020?

For the Raiders, their first year in the Nevada Desert was a mixed bag. The team started hot going 6-3, in the process knocking of eventual playoff contenders such as the Saints and Chiefs. Then they started to falter a bit, before getting it straightened back out for a week or two, but by season’s end the wheels came off and their playoff hopes were extinguished. Through the up and down season there was one constant week to week and that was Darren Waller. The star tight end was unbelievable in 2020 finishing behind only Travis Kelce at the position in fantasy scoring. He trailed Kelce by just 34 points by season’s end, where the third place finishing tight end (Hockenson) finished more than 150 points behind. Waller has proven that Gruden’s system is very tight end friendly, and since 2019, Waller is the tight end leader in yards after catch, highlighting his upside. Entering 2021 drafts later this year the big three at the position should be Kelce, Waller, Kittle, and all should be off the board by round four.

What Needs to Improve in 2021?

For much of the last five years this Raiders team has been stuck in football purgatory, meaning at or near .500. For this Raiders team to get over that hump and become legitimate playoff contenders they need an upgrade at quarterback. Derek Carr has been very good as a starter, but he is a quarterback who is afraid or reluctant to take risks on the field. For this team to be able to take that next step they need a quarterback not afraid to take risks, Deshaun Watson please, hey a fan can dream right. Another area this team needs improvement in 2021 is running back Josh Jacobs usage rate. Jacobs needs to be utilized as a pass catcher more to truly become that fantasy RB1. They used him in that capacity in week one against Carolina and he finished as the week’s top back, there is no reason they cannot use him in that fashion moving forward. Next time I will dive into the Franchise Exit Report for the Miami Dolphins.