Raiders Quietly Getting Big Preseason Effort From Second-Year Offensive Lineman

The trades of Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson were two of the most surprising moves of the Raiders’ offseason. The assumption since then has been that the Raiders offensive line will go through some growing pains without Hudson and Jackson, but there has quietly been an emerging second-year offensive lineman through the first two preseason games.

The Raiders traded up 12 spots to draft John Simpson in 2020 (fourth round) and while he’s currently behind 38 year-old Richie Incognito on the team’s most recent depth chart, Simpson might be playing himself into a full-time role.

Sanjit T. on Twitter: “John Simpson played angry vs the Rams#Raiders / Twitter”

John Simpson played angry vs the Rams#Raiders

Simpson has been the Raiders highest-graded offensive lineman in both preseason games and has been especially impressive as a run blocker (which is where Gabe Jackson had been surprisingly ineffective in recent years).

Even if Incognito and Denzelle Good are the Raiders week one starters at guard, it may be a necessary luxury to have Simpson in waiting. Incognito missed almost all of the 2020 season with an Achilles injury and while his most recent calf strain isn’t related to that injury, it feels a little ominous to see him already dealing with another lower leg injury.

However the Raiders’ offensive line shakes out in the next few weeks, they seem to have at least three starting-caliber offensive guards on the roster. Additionally, it seems like first-round pick Alex Leatherwood is already playing better than any right tackle the Raiders were able to play last year on a regular basis.

Now as far as anyone on the roster playing the center position at the same level as Rodney Hudson… good luck with that.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Raiders Quietly Getting Big Preseason Effort From Second-Year Offensive Lineman

  1. Sounds a little presumptive to me. Can we wait until the real, regular season, begins before making ANY assessments? positive or negative?

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