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Raiders Mailbag: How high in demand are offensive linemen in this draft class?

Tony Cameron from Idaho asks:

"If the Raiders don't take a QB in the first round, how many and who else do they have to backup Jimmy Garoppolo?"

There's a few quarterbacks teams have their eyes on in the first round, but I think it's fair to say the Raiders don't have to draft a quarterback at seven.

Currently on the roster are Jimmy Garoppolo, veteran leader Brian Hoyer and Chase Garbers, who was on the practice squad for most of last season. There's always the possibility of adding another quarterback through the draft, but that doesn't mean it has to be Anthony Richardson from Florida or Will Levis from Kentucky.

There are quite a few other options to look at in the later rounds including Tennessee Volunteers' Hendon Hooker, Jake Haener from Fresno State and Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan. That way, the first round pick could be used to bolster the defense or offensive line.

Paul Woodhouse from Arizona asks:

"What are your thoughts on them drafting Paris Johnson Jr. or Peter Skoronski with their first pick?

While there are a lot of talented offensive lineman in this year's draft, these two stand out as some of the best tackles in the nation. Both played against elite competition in the Big 12, and could push for a starting job as rookies. Johnson already has a relationship built with Thayer Munford Jr. from Ohio State, and has played in some big games as a Buckeye.

As for Skoronski, he plays bully ball on the offensive line and has impressive footwork. He had the second highest vertical and broad jump of all offensive linemen at the NFL Combine, while being one of five offensive linemen to hit 30 reps on bench press. In his senior season, he earned a 93 pass blocking grade from PFF, while only allowing one sack and three hurries.

Daniel Hogue from Oklahoma asks:

"Do you think there's enough depth in the draft at offensive line to find some starters?"


I was just hyping up Paris Johnson Jr. and Peter Skoronski in the previous question, but there's a lot of talent in the trenches to go around in this year's draft. Two potential Day 2 guys that caught my eye at the Senior Bowl are tackles Jaelyn Duncan from Maryland and Blake Freeland out of BYU. Both looked like men among boys during National Team practices, and continued to raise their stock at the Combine. It's also beneficial both players were four-year starters in college.

Another offensive lineman that's continued to make waves is Cody Mauch. The North Dakota State prospect has been touted as one of the best FCS players in this year's draft, and showed the ability to play all positions across the offensive line in college. The 6-foot-6 All-American was named FCS Athletic Directors Association's Top Offensive Lineman his senior season, and could be a late Day 1 or early Day 2 selection.

Offensive and defensive line athletes attend the ELITE Academy at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters to work with alumnus Roy Hart and current players Brandon Parker and Matthew Butler for a day of character development, film study, position specific drills and field work.

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