With minicamp wrapping up earlier this week, the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the NFL now begin the month long wait until training camp begins. While everything may be set for the season, there are still some possible moves the Silver and Black can make.
The one main move they should make is signing another offense tackle. The Raiders have numerous guards who could play tackle, and the only true tackle with experience behind starters Donald Penn and Menelik Watson is Matt McCants. In the event one of them goes down, they will likely have to rely on one of Tony Bergstrom, Khalif Barnes, or Austin Howard to kick out.
The team did pick up second year tackle Emmett Cleary on waivers, but it is unlikely he makes it past first cuts. Experienced veterans are still available such as David Stewart, Bryant McKinnie, and Tony Pashos, who started 12 games last season in Oakland.
A tackle is needed given Watson’s injury history. Howard is likely to move to right tackle in that case, with Barnes or Bergstrom stepping in at right guard. Or Matt McCants The entire situation is a powder keg waiting to spark.
Pashos should be brought in on another veteran minimum deal just in case Watson goes down or isn’t ready. As of now, the Raiders probably do have him on speed dial once training camp starts, in case of an emergency. Menelik is likely a starting tackle of the future for the Oakland Raiders, or at least that’s what the coaching staff sees him as. He could develop into a left tackle over time, which would leave a giant hole at right tackle.
For now, the Raiders just need depth at the position. If injuries set in early, all the progress the front office has spent rebuilding the franchise would be lost in a series of defenders penetrating into the backfield.