The Las Vegas Raiders recently moved on from right tackle Trent Brown and need to find someone to take his place. While they could wait until the 2021 NFL Draft to find a replacement, there are still talented free agents available. Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva is arguably the best of them.
The Raiders recently hosted former Denver Broncos right tackle Elijah Wilkinson, per Mike Klis of 9News. The Massachusetts product signed with the Broncos in 2017 after going undrafted. Over his four-year career, he has appeared in 45 games with 26 starts. He could provide depth but is far from the answer at right tackle for Las Vegas. On the other hand, they could pursue Villanueva, who has been one of the most consistent left tackle over the last six years.
Since 2015, Villanueva has played 96 with 90 starts. Also, he has and has posted Pro Football Grades of 74.0 or better in the last five seasons. He would offer a significant upgrade at right tackle and signing him won’t likely be cost-prohibitive. With Kelvin Beachum and Matt Feiler off the market, Villanueva may be the Raiders’ best option.
The Raiders would need to read the fine print if they signed Alejandro Villanueva
Villanueva would give the Raiders’ offensive line a boost. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things the team’s brass would need to consider. First, he has played left tackle throughout his NFL career and has never taken a snap on the right side of the offensive line. He would need to feel comfortable making the transition to right tackle. Also, he’s 32 and Las Vegas may want to steer away from signing veterans. As important as it is to have as much talent as possible, they also need to start planning for the future and develop players.
Alternatively, the Raiders could wait until 2021’s draft to take a young tackle prospect. This is going to be a deep class and can get a really good one at number 17. They could also wait and get a quality one in the second round, that’s how abundant the position will be. In the meantime, Villanueva may be the Silver and Black’s best option if they want to address the right tackle position in free agency.
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