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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Las Vegas Raiders

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Las Vegas Raiders rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Raiders in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 21

Person on the hot seat: GM Mike Mayock

If it's true that draft classes cannot be fairly judged for three years, the same should be said for first-time general managers who used to be on TV as a draft expert, yes? Yes. Mayock may not have final say on personnel decisions -- that's coach Jon Gruden's department -- but his fingerprints are all over the past three draft classes, which have yielded more head-scratching picks (Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Henry Ruggs III, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden Jr., Alex Leatherwood) than bona fide Pro Bowlers (Josh Jacobs). Fair or not, the spotlight is on Mayock in his third season as Raiders GM. -- Paul Gutierrez

NFL.com -- Rank: 23

Which way are the Raiders headed as a franchise? It's one of the more intriguing Big Questions in the AFC as the Jon Gruden Experience enters Year 4. General manager Mike Mayock said last week that Las Vegas needs to be a playoff team this year -- which, if that goal is achieved, would make this Raiders team different than 17 of the last 18 before it. The mystery here is the defense: Can free-agent addition Yannick Ngakoue add necessary juice to the pass rush? Can recent first-rounders Damon Arnette, Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram live up to their draft pedigree? Mayock's job might depend on it.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 25

They will again be fun to watch on offense, but it's the defense that is an issue. They were awful last year, which isn't a good thing in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.

USA Today -- Rank: 24

They continue signing past-their-prime defenders to fill or compete for very significant roles. Not a great sign.

The Athletic -- Rank: 22

Why they're ranked here: Another team stuck in the same spot as before training camp, and still ranked fourth (though just barely) in the AFC West. Our panel seems to be reserving judgement on the Raiders until we see actual gains from Jon Gruden's team.

One big question: Is there a pass rush? It's almost cliche at this point, because we've been asking this question ever since the Raiders traded Khalil Mack to Chicago just before the 2018 opener. No matter how many swings Las Vegas takes at finding a competent rush, it just hasn't worked. Will it be any different with this year's new addition, Yannick Ngakoue? He's reunited with Gus Bradley, who coached him in Jacksonville.

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