Year after year, the Raiders' front office has been able to find overlooked players and mold them into versatile offensive linemen, and we could be seeing the emergence of another in Sam Young.
In recent memory, the Raiders have maintained consistent production along the offensive line, often ranking as one of the best units in the league; however, while the team possesses an elite group of starters, they aren't the only reason this group has been superb.
Rodney Hudson is the heart of the offense, but when he missed one game last season due to injury, the offensive line didn't skip a beat because of the depth on the roster. Currently, the Raiders are experiencing a similar situation during the early stages of training camp, as Trent Brown has been absent from the last few practices, providing more reps for the 11-year veteran, Sam Young.
"Sam Young is a salty veteran," Gruden told reporters Monday. "He's an experienced swing tackle, he's played tight end at times. He's a pro football player and he's going to compete for the third tackle job, and right now he's making a good impression."
Before he signed with the Raiders, Young has spent time with Dallas, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Miami, and San Francisco, but even at 33 years of age, he still has plenty left in the tank. We often assume that players in their 30s are in the decline of their career, but last season Richie Incognito was one of the best guards in football at 36 years old — yet another Raider snubbed from a Pro Bowl selection.
The Raiders have six tackles on the roster as of now, including starters Kolton Miller and the aforementioned Brown. Depth is a commodity all NFL teams covet and the Raiders are fortunate to have it at one of the most crucial positions in football.
View photos from the Raiders first padded practice of 2020 Training Camp at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.