As we continue to look at how the Oakland Raiders roster looks now that they have finished with free agency and the draft, up next is offensive line. If you missed it earlier this week, you can check out the review of quarterbacks and running backs here, and the review of wide receivers and tight ends here.
Offensive linemen: projected starters*
– Donald Penn(LT)
– Gabe Jackson/Kevin Boothe(LG)
– Stefen Wisniewski(C)
– Austin Howard(RG)
– Menelik Watson(RT)
Center: Stefen Wisniewski
Wiz II is one of the best young centers in the league. He’s been one of the Raiders’ best offensive linemen the last two years. He is a solid pass blocker but he excels in the run game. If The Raiders plan on having one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL again, Wisniewski will need to anchor the offensive line.
Tackle: Menelik Watson, Donald Penn, Khalif Barnes, Matt McCants, Austin Howard
The Raiders love versatile offensive linemen. The best 5 will start. Penn and Watson are likely to start at left and right tackle. Howard was one of the best right tackles in the league last season but offensive line coach Tony Sparano will kick him inside to guard. He didn’t allow many sacks and he played all 16 games. McCants and Barnes can play multiple positions along the offensive line and will provide much needed depth for Oakland that they lacked last season.
Guard: Austin Howard, Gabe Jackson, Tony Bergstrom, Kevin Boothe
Howard and Jackson are the favorites to start at guard in 2014. The interior of the offensive line will be much stronger than it’s been since 2002. Howard and Jackson combine for 669 pounds. Barnes will double as a tackle and guard giving the Raiders solid backup options at guard. Bergstrom has struggled to stay healthy and may find himself searching for work elsewhere. He’s showed some potential when he’s played but he hasn’t played much.