The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the more interesting teams to keep an eye on as the 2021 NFL season approaches, but it may not all be for the right reasons. The Raiders had a rather rough offseason and some of their offseason additions didn’t make much sense for the team.
The Raiders had one of the worst drafts in recent memory and they could be in store for a long season. Some may disagree, but Las Vegas didn’t bring in elite talent at positions of need. Granted, the play of the draft class could prove me wrong.
Let’s take a look at five way too early predictions for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.
5. They Will Bench Derek Carr At Some Point
My first prediction for the Raiders is that they’ll bench Derek Carr at some point this season. There has been public tension between Carr and head coach Jon Gruden for years now and if Carr gets off to another slow start he could be benched in favor of Marcus Mariota.
Gruden has been very vocal about his admiration of Mariota and Nathan Peterman and he could choose to pull the trigger on one of those guys if Carr doesn’t meet his expectations. Don’t be surprised if Carr isn’t the man under center at the end of the season.
4. Darren Waller Makes A Pro Bowl Appearance
My second prediction is that Darren Waller will make the Pro Bowl roster. Waller has emerged into one of the league’s best tight ends, but wasn’t nominated to his first Pro Bowl until last season.
Waller, I believe, will improve on his 2020 season and wind up representing the AFC West in the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season. Don’t be shocked if Waller not only makes the Pro Bowl, but starts in the game as well. He still has a lot of room to improve, which should scare opposing defenses.
3. Las Vegas Will Fire Head Coach Jon Gruden
My third prediction is that the Raiders will fire head coach Jon Gruden. I believe it would be a safe assessment to say that Gruden has not met the expectations he said he would meet in his three seasons with the team, and a coaching staff rebuild could be next in line.
Gruden is entering his fourth year of a 10-year contract, but the Raiders could still make the move to cut ties with the head coach. In three seasons, Gruden has logged just 19 wins and recorded 29 losses. Those kind of numbers aren’t going to cut it as the Raiders’ head coach for much longer, especially when there’s been an emergence of young and innovative coaches entering the league.
2. First In The NFL In A Very Bad Category
My fourth prediction for Vegas Raiders is that they will lead the league in sacks allowed. The Raiders have struggled up front in recent years and the fact that they didn’t do a lot to address the position is highly concerning.
They did add Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood to their front five, but they reached big time to add him to the squad. Las Vegas could see some struggles up front, which could cause the team to struggle moving the ball on offense. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raiders gave up more sacks than anyone else in 2021, especially since Carr loves to hold the ball too long.
1. A Last Place Finish In The AFC West
My fifth and final prediction for the Raiders is that they’ll finish last in the AFC West. They didn’t do enough to ensure their success in 2021, and I believe that will be evident as soon as they take the field this season.
The Raiders are still uncertain at quarterback with Carr under center, they don’t have a very impressive offensive line, and their defense still has a lot of holes that need to be filled. Until those areas are addressed, the Raiders will be flirting with a top 10 draft selection.