Oakland Raiders: Underrated targets during 2019 NFL free agency

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /
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Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images /

Ja’Wuan James, OT, Miami Dolphins

Okay, let’s not pretend like the combination of Donald Penn and Brandon Parker is the answer at right tackle. The Raiders need to find a more permanent, reliable solution if they plan on seeing their offensive line thrive in 2019.

Unfortunately, the upcoming class of free agent offensive linemen is far from impressive. Most of the options set to be available possess more upside than proven production, which isn’t exactly what the Raiders need at this moment. Signing Ja’Wuan James, though, would be a step in the right direction.

Sure, he’s not exactly known across the league as a top-tier blocker. James hasn’t scored any Pro Bowl selections or even made a name for himself as an exciting free agent target. However, if you look at his body of work compared to who else is likely to be available this offseason, he certainly fits into the “underrated” category.

A former first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins, James has developed into a dependable protector at right tackle. Apart from injury-shortened campaigns in 2015 and 2017, he’s held down the starting job with ease, often looking like the outstanding talent Miami drafted him to be.

Signing James isn’t suddenly going to transform this Oakland offensive line into an elite unit. With that said, he’d be a huge upgrade over Parker and isn’t anywhere near as old or ineffective as Penn, who’s likely to become a cap casualty this offseason.