The Las Vegas Raiders have struggled on offense through the first two games of the NFL season, scoring a combined 27 points. They rank 30th in points per game and yards per game through the first two weeks of the year.
But one bright spot for Las Vegas has been the O-line play of a former Morris County standout: right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor.
There are some good reasons why the offense has struggled. Jimmy Garoppolo is still learning the offense and the team was without Jakobi Meyers in Week 2. Plus, they've played two really good defenses on the road in the first two games.
While we shall see if the Raiders can get their offense back on track, the good news is that the offensive line continues to hold up well. According to Pro Football Focus, Eluemunor has not allowed a single sack or QB hit through two games.
No tackle has pass blocked as much as Jermaine Eluemunor (54 snaps) without giving up a single sack, hit or hurry 💪🏴☠️ pic.twitter.com/utgM5uogdJ
— PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) September 20, 2023
Eluemunor came into training camp battling Thayer Munford for the starting right tackle job. While Munford came close to winning that job, the Raiders opted to keep the veteran in the starting lineup. That looks like a good decision as Eluemunor has been fantastic in the first two games.
Born in London, Eluemunor hadn't even played football before his family moved to Denville when he was 14. But he applied his rugby skills to playing offensive tackle and wrestling at Morris Knolls, reaching the NJSIAA heavyweight final as a senior.
A star tackle at Lackawanna Junior College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Eluemunor was part of an offensive line that averaged 379 yards per game.
After two junior college seasons, Eluemunor enrolled at Texas A&M early and went through spring practice. He played in all 13 games as a junior, making his first career start against Louisville in the 2015 Music City Bowl.
Eluemunor turned himself into a fifth-round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens. Two years and just three starts and he was traded to the Patriots. Two injury-plagued years with the Patriots and he was headed to the Southeast to join the Dolphins. That stint lasted a little over two months. He then joined the Jaguars to finish out their training camp, then cut again. Two days later, he was headed out West to join the Raiders.
Eluemunor will get his first real test in Week 3 as he'll see T.J. Watt on the right side. Watt already has four sacks this season and has caused multiple turnovers for the Pittsburgh defense. If Eluemunor can have a strong performance on Sunday Night Football, the Raiders will have an excellent chance of improving to 2-1 on the season.
Daily Record sportswriter Jane Havsy contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Morristown Daily Record: NFL: Las Vegas Raiders tackle Morris Knolls Jermaine Eluemunor