Home » NFL Rookies » NFL Draft: Offensive line solutions abound for the Raiders

NFL Draft: Offensive line solutions abound for the Raiders

Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma Point out offensive lineman Teven Jenkins (73) through an NCAA university football activity versus Texas in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.

Offense is not the Raiders’ major problem. Las Vegas concluded 10th in scoring in 2020, and there aren’t a lot of holes at the ability positions. Derek Carr is entrenched at quarterback, Darren Waller is a Pro Bowl tight finish and Josh Jacobs is a star managing back again. Points are good.

The obtaining corps is a very little iffy, but with the workforce employing very first- and 3rd-round picks previous year on Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, respectively, it’s unlikely the Raiders will goal a move-catcher in the first spherical this yr.

The offensive line is a different story. The device is going through large adjustments this offseason and Las Vegas could head into Thursday’s draft looking for prolonged-time period methods at correct tackle, heart and guard.

The 2021 draft is deemed to be deep at offensive line, so it’s anything Las Vegas could shore up on Friday or Saturday as perfectly. But if head mentor Jon Gruden and standard manager Mike Mayock are established on incorporating a prime-conclude expertise, there should really be a lot to select from when the Raiders select at No. 17 total.

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma Condition

At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Jenkins is identified as the nastiest run blocker in the 2021 draft, and it’s likely to be tricky for Gruden not to choose him looking at how significantly the coach seems to want a significant street-grader anchoring the correct side of his offensive line.

That pursuit led Gruden to give Trent Brown a substantial no cost-agent contract before the 2019 time, but it didn’t function out as Brown was oft-hurt and the jogging game sputtered to 4.2 yards for each carry this season (20th in the league). Jenkins, with his capacity to manhandle defensive linemen, could go a prolonged way towards restoring a dominant floor match in Las Vegas.

Jenkins is not just one of these remaining tackles masquerading on the correct side — he is a correct deal with by way of and via, holding down that posture for the very last three years at Oklahoma Condition. He can overpower opponents at the place of assault, and he’s nimble plenty of to get out to the 2nd stage and seal off linebackers and defensive backs.

On this perform, Jenkins is lined up at right deal with and blocks down on the defensive lineman. He then kicks out and pancakes the exterior linebacker, one-handedly building a big operating lane:

After investing so substantially in a operating again tandem of Josh Jacons and Kenyan Drake, the most effective matter Las Vegas could do to optimize that duo would be drafting Jenkins.

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Another choice up front could be Darrisaw, though he’s much more of a move-blocking remaining tackle than a bulldozing ideal deal with. A former top rated recruit who attained All-ACC honors in 2020, Darrisaw has the pedigree and the talent to be a franchise developing block.

Nevertheless he can be a bit lumbering when questioned to get out in house, Darrisaw is a virtual wall when it comes to preserving the quarterback. Look at out No. 77 in this clip:

Edge rushers who consider to get close to him with speed are merely ridden earlier the pocket. Inside moves are slash off with relieve. And power rushers are merely stopped in their tracks. Derek Carr would adore Darrisaw.

Does that make Darrisaw a match for the Raiders? It’s possible not. Immediately after Kolton Miller got a huge-money extension at still left deal with, both he or Darrisaw would have to transfer to the proper side, and whilst Miller performed his rookie yr there, it would be a misuse of belongings. And though Jenkins is likely to be obtainable at No. 17, there’s a excellent possibility Darrisaw is now off the board when Las Vegas picks.

If Darrisaw is there, nonetheless, the sheer expertise stage could make him the select.

Alijah Vera-Tucker, G/OT, USC

Vera-Tucker has been a riser throughout the draft system, and the one point holding him back again — queries about his real placement — wouldn’t always matter as significantly to the Raiders, which puts him squarely in play for No. 17.

Vera-Tucker performed still left tackle in 2020, but at 6-foot-3, 315 lbs, Vera-Tucker isn’t constructed like a common NFL tackle. The Raiders surely choose their bookends to be on the for a longer time side, as Miller and Brown each check out in at 6-foot-8. But Vera-Tucker also has encounter at guard, and he could simply slide inside of to guy that situation in Las Vegas, in particular with the team shedding proper guard Gabe Jackson this offseason.

His athleticism is remarkable. In this clip, Vera-Tucker (No. 75) quickly receives out of his stance at remaining tackle and seals off the defensive lineman, then moves out to the next level and pushes a linebacker 5 yards downfield, clearing the way for a good floor achieve:

Vera-Tucker can participate in, and the positional versatility could truly be intriguing to the Raiders.

Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

In conditions of upside, there may possibly not be a far more enjoyable blocker in this draft than Carman. He’s a huge at 6-foot-5, 335 lbs, and he is possibly the most swish mover in the course, ready to get out in place and nail pinpoint blocks.

Watch him (No. 79) on this display go, as he lets the initial rusher past him and then explodes into the open up discipline to pave the way for the receiver. Carman is tasked with creating a one particular-on-a single block versus a cornerback in area, which is not an quick factor to do. Carman executes it beautifully though and the engage in goes for an quick eight yards:

Carman is large, athletic, and has a ton of expertise heading towards prime-flight move rushers when defending Trevor Lawrence’s blind side. He’s been projected as a Working day 2 or Working day 3 decide through the run-up to the draft, but it would not be an absolute shock to see a staff fall in appreciate with him in the very first spherical — and when you look at the Clemson link, it could quite effectively be the Raiders.

Aaron Financial institutions, G, Notre Dame

If the Raiders want to merely pluck a guard from the college or university ranks and operate power behind him, Financial institutions could be the person. A three-year starter at Notre Dame, Banks checks in at 6-foot-5, 330 lbs, and he is familiar with how to use that frame to transfer defenders out of the way in the jogging sport.

View him (No. 69) simply just destroy a Clemson defensive tackle on this enjoy, uprooting him and driving him into the ground for a pancake at the place of attack:

That’s dominant things. If the Raiders are identified to inject some terrible into their O-line, Banking institutions is an selection. He’s not projected as a to start with-rounder, nonetheless, and guards generally do not have the exact draft value as tackles. So if Banking companies is on the radar it could be as the focus on of a trade-down or as a Day 2 prospect.

Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

The Raiders reported goodbye to veteran Professional Bowl center Rodney Hudson soon after the period, sending him to Arizona in a stunning trade that opened up a gap in the center of the Las Vegas offensive line. Does that make center a draft priority for the Raiders?

If so, Humphrey is deemed the most effective on the board. He’s a a few-yr starter and did not enable a sack in either 2019 or 2020, earning the Significant 12’s Offensive Lineman of the 12 months award both of those seasons.

It is exceptional to see a heart with Humphrey’s mix of athleticism and electricity. Look at him make the shotgun snap, then pull all the way all around the still left close to lead the way on this outside the house operate. Humphrey targets the center linebacker and shoves him out of the enjoy wholly:

Center is a further posture that does not usually have 1st-round price, but as a trade-down goal or a Working day 2 pick, Humphrey has to be under thing to consider for the Raiders.

Mike Grimala can be attained at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Abide by Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.


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