Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders OT Thayer Munford Ready To Contribute

The Las Vegas Raiders had two picks in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The first of those, they used to select Thayer Munford. Munford was a four-year starter at offensive tackle for Ohio State, and he’ll bring a lot of talent to Sin City.

Thayer Munford’s collegiate career

Munford was taken in the seventh round, which is considered a bit of a steal. That’s largely due to his original fifth round projection. After all, Munford was the starter for all 12 games the Buckeyes played last year and was named to the First-Team All-Big Ten roster. That’s a bit more talent than you’ll find from most seventh rounders.

Thayer was also a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019, and he made the first team in 2020. Munford had 45 career starts in his complete college career, with 34 of those being at left tackle. In his final year of college, Munford started 11 games at guard, so he’s got some versatility to offer the Raiders as well.

Munford’s strengths he brings to the Raiders

With 35-inch arms, that length makes it easy for Munford to establish first contact with a defender. He also has the strength to stick with that block after latching on. In his 11 games at guard, Munford especially excelled at pulling on run plays as a lead blocker, with his quickness allowing him to close down on defenders quickly. He is also good at reading defenders and sets up running lanes for his running back pretty efficiently.

Munford’s weaknesses

Munford does have some issues that will need to be worked on, as can be said for any late-round pick. He seems to have a bad habit of leaning forward, which makes him a victim to a defender with any degree of agility. On run blocks, Munford is great at making first contact, but that can’t be said about his pass-blocking. On pass plays, Thayer often allows defenders to make first contact, and he finds himself absorbing the defender, allowing him to be pushed back. Thankfully, for him and the Raiders, these are both traits that can be corrected.

What will his career with the Raiders look like?

As a seventh-round selection, there are virtually no expectations ahead of Munford as he begins his NFL career. When looking at his college career as a whole, though, he does have a lot of potential. Munford won’t have a stellar start to his career, and if he’s able to make the roster, he’ll likely serve as a depth piece.

“I want to win. I want to win with the best and learn from the best. I’m going to be with veterans who have played a lot of football.” – Munford on his plans with the Raiders

Thayer is a project, but if that project pans out, the Raiders will reap a lot of success from it. He will serve the Raiders best at either guard position. However, his versatility allows him to fill in at tackle if needed as well. Munford won’t be a name to watch for in 2022, but down the road he might just be a name to watch for.

*Top Photo: Cleveland.com/Associated Press

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