Rounding Up Raiders' Rumors, Buzz Amid 2022 Training Camp
The Las Vegas Raiders' training camp is well underway, and Wednesday brings another big milestone: The pads come on.
The first stretch of training camp was all about installation and teaching. With Josh McDaniels taking over as head coach, that's going to be crucial. But the arrival of padded practices means the new staff will get a better look at what they have.
Of course, training camp also comes with plenty of buzz. From players who are making an impression to the possibility of adding another name to the roster, camp always brings about storylines.
Here's a look at the latest buzz and rumors surrounding the Silver and Black right now.
Mack Hollins Making an Early Impression
The Las Vegas receiver room is going to look a lot different in 2022. The Davante Adams trade was obviously the biggest move and upgrade, but the team also said goodbye to Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards.
Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller figure to get the lion's share of Derek Carr's attention, but there is still competition for whoever comes after that.
The Raiders have multiple options. They signed Keelan Cole, Demarcus Robinson and Mack Hollins, and it's the last name on that list who has made an impression on his teammates.
"He comes out there every day and he puts in the work. And I'm excited to see about him. He's smart too, I don't think I've ever seen a guy pick up an offense so fast honestly," running back Josh Jacobs said of Hollins, per Levi Edwards of the team's official site.
Edwards also highlighted the 28-year-old's habit of running a mile after every workout. It's a habit other teammates have taken up alongside him.
It would be easy to dismiss Hollins based on his career to this point, but he showed some signs of life with the Miami Dolphins last season, averaging 15.9 yards per reception and four touchdowns.
At 6'4", 221 pounds, he has the frame to be a surprising role player in the offense.
Raiders Will Keep Eye on Waiver-Wire Linemen
The biggest question the Raiders have in training camp is the offensive line. Last year, the unit struggled and there hasn't been much done from a personnel standpoint to change that.
Making matters worse was the retirement of 31-year-old Denzelle Good. He was still recovering from an ACL tear but was one of few linemen on the roster with a proven track record.
Last season, the unit was ranked 28th in the league by Pro Football Focus. It had three starters with a grade of 55.7 or lower.
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas-Review Journal noted the Raiders are likely to give their current guys a chance to prove themselves, but they "know where to turn for help" if they don't like what they see from those competing.
In a concurrent tweet, Bonsignore pointed to the waiver wire as a possible source of talent.
With camp now underway for most NFL sides, it won't be long until teams start trimming their rosters. That often means capable players suddenly find themselves available.
Don't be surprised if the Raiders are on the lookout.
Raiders Line Looking Forward to First Padded Practice
With Bonsignore's tweet out there, the stage is set for an intense few days in Vegas. There's only so much linemen can prove without pads on.
Now that they'll be donning full equipment, we'll get a clearer picture of the improvements the unit has made.
Brandon Parker, who is competing with Alex Leatherwood for the right tackle position, can't wait to start full contact practice.
“That first click-clack, man, you get the butterflies like it’s a game,” Parker said, per Tashan Reed of The Athletic. “You’re like, ‘Oh man, here it comes, here it comes.’ And then you just make that collision and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s play football.’ It’s a little built-up tension."
Last year, Parker had a PFF grade of 55.8, allowed eight sacks and drew nine penalties. If the buzz is to be believed he's going to have to show better play than that over the next few days to keep the Raiders from looking elsewhere.