2021 Las Vegas Raiders Breakout Candidates

The Las Vegas Raiders enter the 2021 season with high expectations. With the addition of Gus Bradley as the new defensive coordinator, the time for excuses is past. He needs to turn around a defense that has been abysmal since the turn of the century. In addition, the first-round picks need to play up to their draft status, and Derek Carr has to perform like a top-ten quarterback. Anything short of a playoff appearance—and win—would be a major disappointment. As such, these are three potential Las Vegas Raiders breakout candidates for the 2021 season.

2021 Las Vegas Raiders Breakout Candidates

Bryan Edwards

The departure of Nelson Agholor presents an opportunity for Bryan Edwards to emerge. Edwards is entering his second season after having been selected high in the third round of last year’s draft. When it comes to prototypical size for the wide receiver position, look no further than Edwards. At 6’3” and 215 pounds, he has the exact build you look for in a number-one wideout. Edwards’s size—along with his hand strength—allows him to excel at caching 50/50 balls. It also grants him the ability to beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage.

Even with the addition of John Brown, Edwards will see no shortage of playing time this season. Brown compares more to Ruggs than anyone else. Additionally, neither of those two wide receivers have the build or strength Edwards possesses. Defenses will likely have a safety cheat toward whichever side Henry Ruggs III is on due to his deep-threat capabilities. This will leave Edwards in one-on-one coverage for the majority of his snaps. Edwards projects similarly, in this offense, to Michael Crabtree— and the expectations are similar as well.

Johnathan Abram

Two seasons in and half of Raider Nation has already written Johnathan Abram off as a bust. The current belief is he plays without enough discipline to the point he becomes a liability in pass coverage. Many also believe the reckless abandon with which he plays makes him regularly risk (and suffer) injury. This was evident during his rookie season, in which he missed all but one game due to a torn rotator cuff.

Las Vegas’s season on Hard Knocks showed how much fire, passion, and personality Abram brings to the team. While it has been mentioned previously, the arrival of Gus Bradley can not be highlighted enough. Bradley has worked wonders with safeties everywhere he has been. He coached the Legion of Boom with the Seattle Seahawks and developed Derwin James with the Los Angeles Chargers. With Bradley fully committing Abram to the strong (or box) safety position, they should be able to finally tap his potential as a first-round talent. It is this talent and the arrival of Bradley that make Abram a Las Vegas Raiders breakout candidate for the 2021 season.

Foster Moreau

Now that Jason Witten has retired, all eyes are on Foster Moreau to fill the second tight end position. It may be hard to imagine another tight end having an impact with Darren Waller already on the roster. However, Jon Gruden fancies using multiple tight end sets on offense. Gruden loves to run the football with a power-rushing scheme, so Moreau will see plenty of time on the field. With defenses focusing their attention on Waller and Ruggs, Moreau will have his fair share of receiving opportunities as well. As long as his run-blocking is not a liability, Moreau should be able to carve out a nice role for himself in this offense. His development and production are something to keep an eye on for fantasy football players.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images


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