Jon Gruden Calls For a More Versatile Offense
This offseason, Jon Gruden made it clear that he wanted more versatility on the offensive side of the football. Luckily for him, the Raiders brought in the personnel this offseason to get that accomplished. They brought in a ton of speed via first round pick Henry Ruggs, who not only can help spread defenses out, but his addition gives the Raiders more capable options in the passing game.
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Gruden has said that if the Raiders want to spread defenses out with 4 or 5 wide, they can. They brought in Ruggs, Nelson Agholor, and Bryan Edwards this offseason to add to Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. Yet, they also have the personnel to play old school football with multiple tight ends, and a strong run game helped by Josh Jacobs and fullback Alec Ingold. This offensive versatility will allow Gruden to attack each week and each game with as many options as possible to be aggressive against opposing defenses.
What’s the Plan With Lynn Bowden Jr?
In the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Raiders went out and got Lynn Bowden Jr out of Kentucky. Bowden Jr. is on the depth chart as a running back, but in reality he can line up out wide, in the backfield, and he can even do a little damage throwing the football. Bowden Jr. was one of the most versatile players in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he fits exactly what Jon Gruden ordered: versatility. Yet, where will Gruden play the former Kentucky standout?
These days, offenses are always trying to add weapons who can make an impact in multiple spots. Just look at what the Saints do with Taysom Hill. This move gives the Raiders offense more options to toy with offensively, and having a guy as explosive and dynamic as Bowden Jr. is never a bad thing to have in the back pocket. One thing I’d love to see with Bowden Jr. is the Raiders utilize him out of the wildcat. Although this is purely speculation, just imagine Bowden Jr taking the snap and then looking to make some moves in open space. And with the Raiders great offensive line, he’d have some room to run behind. Plus, he’s been prolific as a quarterback before, so it wouldn’t be a reach for Gruden to draw up some trick plays that see Bowden Jr. throw the football. Nonetheless, if Gruden has some tricks up his sleeve next season, expect for Bowden Jr. to be involved.
Is Bryan Edwards the Next Kenny Golladay?
Bryan Edwards was another one of the Raiders 3rd round draft picks during the 2020 NFL Draft, and what a pick he was. Edwards was one of the most successful wide receivers in South Carolina history. Not only does he own the school record for career receiving yards, but Edwards has the most career receptions at South Carolina too. Edwards had a better collegiate career than South Carolina alumni like Alshon Jeffery and Deebo Samuel, so you know he’s got a great chance at being special.
Edwards is big, strong and can go up and catch the football in the red zone. Plus, he’s surprisingly fast for his size and he’s an above average deep threat. Edwards reminds me a little of Kenny Golladay. Although that comparison may seem a little bit of a stretch, they both were 3rd round picks, have similar physical traits, and are both excellent red zone threats who have surprising speed and ability in open space. With a Kenny Golladay like player added to the Raiders receiving corps, Derek Carr has got plenty of weapons in Las Vegas to try and make this Raiders aerial attack keep up with offensive firepower in the AFC West.