With many other position groups needing aid on the Oakland Raiders roster, it may sound laughable that Oakland should beef up their offensive line, but there is cause for concern.
After receiving a massive contract extension, right guard Gabe Jackson saw a decline in production in 2017 following a 2016 season where he didn’t allow a single sack. While there isn’t much to worry about with Kelechi Osemele at left guard, if left tackle Donald Penn suffers another injury, it could be Osemele who fills in.
If that scenario occurs then the Raiders will again play musical chairs with their offensive line, which could prove disastrous. Derek Carr has shown strength and durability at times but unfortunately, he has also been a victim of the injury bug and the franchise quarterback’s health is nothing to take lightly. Jon Feliciano has proven to be a solid utility player in the trenches but his 2017 season was cut short due to injury. This leaves us with Vadal Alexander who appeared in 15 games and started in four of them. As such, general manager Reggie McKenzie should consider adding depth to the guard spot on day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Alex Cappa, Humboldt State, 6-foot-7, 305 pounds
Cappa was a virtual unknown until the Senior Bowl when Mike Mayock of NFL Network claimed he had “the nastiest tape I’ve seen.” Though Cappa played left tackle for the Lumberjacks, his skill set will better translate to the interior line at the next level. During the Senior Bowl game, he looked comfortable at left guard where he could use his aggressiveness more with less space to cover.
Expected to go: 4th-5th Round
Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech, 6-foot-4, 300 pounds
Coming out of high school, Teller was a top-rated college prospect, however, he played on the defensive side of the ball. He would go onto to play his first season at Virginia Tech as a defensive end before making the switch to play on the offensive line. Teller’s defensive prowess helped him to excel at the guard spot in 2016, but his play saw a dip in 2017. If Teller had replicated his success from 2016 to 2017, he’d likely hear his name called on day-2 of the draft. The potential is there for this 300-pound beast and if Tom Cable gets ahold of Teller, he could prove to be a diamond in the rough.
Expected to go: 5th Round
Colby Gossett, Appalachian State, 6-foot-5, 311 pounds
Gossett is a marginal athlete that performed well at the Senior Bowl. The knock on Gossett is the need to work on technique, but he displayed good use of his hands and strong leg drive. Gossett can be heavy footed, but Gabe Jackson had the same tag coming out of college as well. Gossett may need more seasoning but he may be a guy that helps out in a pinch.
Expected to go: 5th-6th Round
Skyler Phillips, Idaho State, 6-foot-3, 318 pounds
Similar to Cappa, Skyler Phillips also played against “lower level” competition, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play at the next level. While Phillips is listed as a guard, he can play a myriad of positions. In 2013 as a freshman making 12 starts, Phillips appeared in five games as a left guard then played in seven contests at right tackle. The following year Phillips started ten games at right guard, where he is best suited to play at the pro level. Despite his versatile skill set, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com notes NFL teams will exercise caution as Phillips “missed final seven games of 2016 after suffering a concussion”.
Expected to go: 5th-6th Round