The Raiders loaded up on veteran offensive linemen this offseason. The imported three players who should step right into the starting lineup, filling voids after a 2013 campaign where the line was riddled with injury.
They re-signed Khalif Barnes too, and have plenty of young depth on the roster.
That should suggest the Raiders aren’t in the market for a draftable lineman. Not so fast.
The Raiders could look for an offensive tackle early or any position late in an attempt to prepare for the day when new veterans Donald Penn and Kevin Boothe complete their shorter-term contracts.
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Who's here: C Stefen Wisniewski, G Lamar Mady, G/T Khalif Barnes, G Tony Bergstrom, T Menelik Watson, T Matt McCants, G Lucas Nix, G Kevin Boothe, T Jack Cornell, G/T Austin Howard, T Donald Penn, G/T Jarrod Shaw.
Draft needs: The Raiders could use some young depth at the position. Otherwise, they could draft an offensive tackle at No. 5 overall who is too good to pass up.
Good fits: If some of the Raiders’ top choices are gone by No. 5 and trade partners are being stingy, the Raiders could play it safe and selection from a trio of top-tier offensive tackles. Depending, of course, on who’s been selected at that point, Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan are top tier blockers expected to be quality pros. Any of those players could be a nice consolation prize in the first round.
If the Raiders wait a bit, they can draft for depth. Stanford guard David Yankey has received high praise –- several Raiders coaches and scouts were at his pro day -– and could be a nice addition in the fourth round. Also, Florida’s Jon Halapio could be had late in the draft. He’s a big, powerful, competitive player who should fit well into the Raiders blocking scheme.
At 6-foot-8 and 316 pounds, Cornelius Lucas from Kansas State is an athletic big man who could develop into a solid performer in a few year. He’s projected as a sixth or seventh round pick.