Oakland Raiders position battle: right tackle

The Oakland Raiders lost both starting offensive tackles from 2013. LT Jared Veldeer was signed by the Arizona Cardinals and RT Tony Pashos is still unsigned.

Oakland Raiders offseason position review: offensive line

Pashos started 12 games and was very serviceable. He was a good pass blocker, but relied more on technique rather than ability. He was a decent run blocker but very limited if he didn’t have someone to lock onto immediately.

However, Pashos will be 34 when the season begins, and is likely at the end of his career. He is what he is at this point and will only be signed as an emergency option in training camp, similar to how he was signed by Oakland last fall.

Third year player Matt McCants started three games in 2013. He held up well in those three starts, and would likely get a shot in camp at the starting job. He may not be seen as a long term option, but likely would not be disastrous if made a 16-game starter.

Menelik Watson

Menelik Watson

The option the team would really like to step up is 2013 second rounder Menelik Watson. Watson missed much of his rookie year with injuries, and only played 177 snaps. The talent is there, and Watson doesn’t have much competition to take a starting job. Depending on what they want to do with Donald Penn in a year, Watson could be groomed to take the left tackle job, but for now it would appear the coaching staff wants him to become their right tackle long term.

Although he is part of the logjam at left guard, Tony Bergstrom could also be an option at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds. He hasn’t played since 2012, and hasn’t even played tackle since his college days, but there’s potential in his size

Many thought the spot was filled when Austin Howard was signed, but Dennis Allen said Howard would play right guard. However, if none of the above performs well, Allen could move Howard back to his natural right tackle position and put one of the competitors of the left guard competition at right guard.

If the season were to start tomorrow, it’s likely that the Raiders would start Watson, strictly due to his draft pedigree. Right tackle might get ugly this year if none of the players can perform well. There still might be relief coming in the draft. And if all options fail, Tony Pashos better keep his phone on.

Comments

  1. Eric Kench says

    I like Pashos too and I see McCants as a replacement for Penn at left tackle. McCants needs an off season in the weight room to become a good left tackle. He can pass block real well.

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