What Route Should Raiders Take With The Guard Position?

Protecting Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr should be the priority from now until the foreseeable future. These guard prospects could definitely aid in keeping the signal-caller upright.

A patched-up offensive line did its best this season

The Raiders offensive line did its best in 2020 all things considered. Under the guidance of line coach Tom Cable, the unit navigated thru injuries to Richie Incognito and Trent Brown. Denzelle Good played admirably when needed and rookie John Simpson went through growing pains when called upon. However, the unit needs help, this will ring true depending on what happens in the offseason prior to the draft.

Gabe Jackson found himself in trade talks this past offseason, will it happen again? He’s not scheduled to be an unrestricted free-agent until 2023, so a departure would have to come via cut or trade. Incognito is the other question the Silver and Black have to decide on after the season. The guard has been an anchor alongside center Rodney Hudson but he’ll be 38 in 2021. The Raiders can part ways next year so there’s that possibility. Good’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next year so the guard position is anything but cemented. Is an infusion of youth maybe in order?

Related: Could Raiders Go Safety Early In Next Year’s Draft?

Raiders could draft a guard…

Going into the offseason, we all know that fixing the defense will be the priority. Nonetheless, the team needs to look at possibly drafting a guard in the mid or late rounds. Here are two under the radar prospects they could target, and under Cable’s coaching, they could thrive. Those two are Alex Mollette from Marshall and Vincent Picozzi from Temple.

Per Pro Football Focus, Picozzi played in 426 snaps in 2020, his biggest strength is pass blocking which graded out at 88.7 for the year. For his part, Mollette’s strength was also in the pass blocking department, his grade of 89.2 is indicative of that. Overall, Mollette is the more rounded prospect, with a 77.8 overall grade, he could be closer to being ‘NFL ready.’ The strength of schedule and team opposition obviously adds context to these grades but make no mistakes these two studs would be interesting additions. No one’s expecting the Raiders to draft another Incognito but they must start looking ahead.

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*Top Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

*All contract information courtesy of Spotrac

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