Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Las Vegas Raiders Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Las Vegas Raiders in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 13

Who's on the hot seat: DE Clelin Ferrell

This comes with a caveat, as Ferrell, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 draft, has to make the team. The defensive end, who was expected to get a lift from a new scheme under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, has not practiced since early in camp with an undisclosed injury. He was working on a side field with a trainer this week, but as evidenced by the Raiders' new regime not picking up his fifth-year option, his future in in peril -- not only as a third pass-rusher alongside Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones but also as a member of the team. -- Rank: 11

Is Darren Waller about to go off? The talented tight end was productive when he was on the field in 2021 (missed six games), but he failed to match the playmaking virtuosity that defined his previous two seasons. Waller could be ready to return to beast mode. The arrival of Davante Adams completely changes how defenses must prepare for the Raiders, and all that attention on an elite wide receiver should lead to plenty of single coverage, chunk gains and end zone visits for Waller, who managed only one touchdown reception after Week 1 a season ago. Waller might not see quite as many targets with Adams in the building, but the quality of those looks figures to go way up.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

Josh McDaniels will be a better coach the second time as the head man, which is a good thing for this team. They have playmakers on offense, but the line is a question and the defense has some as well.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

The good news: With Tyreek Hill out of Kansas City, Adams and Darren Waller probably form the most dangerous wide receiver-tight end combo in the league, with apologies to the Deebo Samuel-George Kittle and Brown-Goedert combinations.

The bad news: The Raiders could be better than they were a year ago and still find themselves outside the playoffs. Stuck in the league's most loaded division, the Raiders have the third-hardest schedule in the NFL. Given how much unloading the new regime has done of the roster they inherited, they may be prepared to take a step back before taking a big one forward.

Nugget to remember: The Raiders need to be good early. Three of their first five games are against division opponents, which Vic Tafur notes last happened to the Raiders in 2009 when they went 5-11.

The Ringer -- Rank: 19

Following the disastrous Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock era, the Raiders' new braintrust of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler have something the Raiders haven't had since 2002: a plan. The duo signed edge rusher Chandler Jones to a blockbuster deal and traded for quarterback Derek Carr's college teammate Davante Adams. They signed Carr to a contract extension that essentially puts him on a one-year deal with team options in years following. And they declined fifth-year options for all of the team's 2019 first-round picks (Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Josh Jacobs). Opting for open competition across the board, none of the players from the previous regime are safe, evidenced by the move to cut 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood last week. Las Vegas very well could be the league's most improved team but still miss the playoffs while competing in a loaded AFC West.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 16

Cutting offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood a year after he was drafted in the first round brought a lot of attention to how bad the Raiders' drafts were with Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden running the show. Imagine how good the Raiders might be right now if they hadn't whiffed on so many picks. The blown drafts will set them back for the next couple years, too.

PFT -- Rank: 14

The offense should be fine. Can the defense slow down the other three offenses in the division?

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