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News

John Lund's Top Offensive Linemen in the Draft

Posted Feb 28, 2014

Columnist and 95.7 The Game personality John Lund continues a position-by-position look at the top players available in the 2014 NFL Draft with the offensive line.

Columnist and 95.7 The Game personality John Lund continues a position-by-position look at the top players available in the 2014 NFL Draft with the offensive line.

Because of injuries which started with left tackle Jared Veldheer going down in training camp with a torn triceps, the Raiders offensive line had little continuity in 2013. There are two or three highly rated tackles in the draft. Oakland could take one early and look to shore up the interior and depth later in the draft. Much of the puzzle depends on if the Raiders retain free agent Veldheer and think 2013 second rounder Menelik Watson is ready to hold down the right tackle job after struggling with injuries his rookie season.

Tackles:

Greg Robinson -  Auburn - 6’5” - 332 pounds: Robinson seems to have jumped Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews as the number one offensive tackle prospect because of his outstanding athleticism for a player his size. Was only a two year starter and third year sophomore, so he has room to grow or he may be raw and take some time. Robinson ran a 4.92 40 at the Combine and put up 225 pounds on the bench press 32 times. 

When I think he’ll go: Could go as high as number two to the Rams. The top two picks and three of the first four selections were offensive tackles in the 2013 draft, so the position is at a premium. 

Jake Matthews - Texas A&M - 6’5” – 308 pounds: Has NFL bloodlines, son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. He’s experienced, started 46 of 48 college games. Played right tackle in 2012 when 2013 second overall pick Luke Joeckel played the left side for the Aggies. Heswitched over this season to left tackle.

Where I think he’ll go: He could go to the Rams if they prefer him over Robinson. Raiders could use either of these top rated tackles if Veldheer leaves in free agency.

Guards:

Gabe Jackson - Mississippi State - 6’3” -  336 pounds: Road grader, good intangibles, high character. Four-year starter in college.

Where I think he’ll go: Guards don’t usually go high in the first round unless they are really special. The Raiders have many needs, but the fifth pick in the second round may not be too high to fix the left guard problem.

David Yankey  - Stanford - 6’6” -  315 pounds: Stanford does what the Raiders want to do, they’re tough in the trenches and they run the ball. Yankey played in a power scheme and is Stanford smart, so he could be plug and play early, which is what the Raiders need.

Where I think he’ll go: Likely second round, but could slip to the third round, which would be a place I think the Raiders could look at the position. 

Xavier Su’A-Filo  - UCLA  - 6’4” – 307 pounds: More athletic than nasty and can play in a power or zone scheme. Projects to left guard according to a scout, which is what the Raiders need. Played tackle at UCLA, but projects inside in the NFL. Good character guy.

Where I think he’ll go: Third round. Raiders could be in a position to shore up the inside at that point in the draft.

Sleeper:

Seantrel Henderson - Miami (Fla.)  - 6’7” – 331 pounds: Henderson was the top high school player in the country a few years ago, and started his career at USC. He didn’t live up to expectations on or off the field but is an intriguing physical prospect.

Where I think he’ll go: Late rounds and is boom or bust.

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed in John Lund's Wheel Route column represent those of John Lund, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Oakland Raiders organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. The author's views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Raiders officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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