Nguyen: Kolton Miller “Nearly Flawless” in Week One

Kolton Miller is getting a lot of love this week after his strong performance against the Panthers.

The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen described Miller’s effort at Carolina as “nearly flawless” and acknowledged that drafting the talented, albeit unrefined, offensive tackle from UCLA in 2018 was probably the “right decision” by the Raiders.

“The Raiders were widely criticized when they passed on safety Derwin James to draft Miller in 2018, but it looks like the Raiders might have made the right decision,” Nguyen wrote for The Athletic.

“James will be miss this season with a knee injury after missing 11 games last season with a foot injury, while Miller hasn’t missed a game while steadily improving each season. In Week 1, he looked like a Pro Bowler. He didn’t give up one pressure and looked dominant against every Panthers pass rusher he faced, including 2019 first-round pick Brian Burns.”

Ironically, Pro Football Focus gave a higher grade to all four other offensive linemen on the Raiders for Sunday’s game… which is what can happen when your quarterback drops back to a clean pocket on 90% of passing plays during a game.

With respect to Carolina, the Raiders offensive line will face what should be a much steeper challenge in the Saints on Monday night. Last week the Saints sacked Tom Brady three times and the secondary intercepted him twice.

But as battles in the trenches are concerned, it’s the Raiders defensive line that will need to improve this week. Without a much better pass rush against Drew Brees, the Raiders shouldn’t expect to walk away with a win the way they did in Carolina.

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