After watching the Las Vegas Raiders struggle on offense the last couple of weeks, it’s obvious that the offensive line is a weakness. Sure, Kolton Miller has been missing in action, but his absence shows how thin the tackle position really is. Thankfully, some reinforcements can be had next year. Let’s get our first edition of the Monday morning mock draft going. It’s mid-November, and the team is under 500. What better time to start?
2024 Raiders Mock Draft: Addressing The Trenches
The thing about the Raiders right now is the uncertainty of their top brass. As it stands, Champ Kelly is interim general manager, with Dave Ziegler no longer in charge. Kelly, a renowned scout in his own right, is capable of running the show. Having met him (on accident, mind you) at the Shrine Bowl practices in Las Vegas this year, Kelly is an up-and-coming star in the managerial world of the NFL. Whether owner Mark Davis will entrust him with the franchise has yet to be determined.
Now, in terms of the NFL Draft, whether it’s Kelly or someone else, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Raiders need an offensive tackle. Jermaine Eluemunor, Thayer Munford, and even Brandon Parker are fine rotational players—spot starters even—but they’re not cornerstone players.
If you want sustainable success in the trenches, you need a franchise right tackle.
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Taliese Fuaga, by way of Oregon State, is the pick here. With the way things are going, the Raiders won’t be in play for one of the top two quarterback prospects. That’s fine; you still need to build; Fuaga has potential written all over him.
Every time a big run pops, it seems like #OregonState RT Taliese Fuaga (#75) is helping the clear the way, moves so well at his size, on the backside of OZ runs, then clears the LB out on the QB draw here.
Also did a nice job 1-on-1 who nah Elliss in pass pro situations. pic.twitter.com/lShtiJzRZF
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) September 30, 2023
Standing at roughly six-foot-six and weighing close to 320-plus pounds, Fuaga has the size and frame you can build on at the next level. As one of the larger and stronger prospects coming out of college next year, the Raiders could feasibly plug him in from the outset.
His biggest strength to build on will be his run-blocking. Fuaga is downright nasty. His power coming out of his stance is otherworldly—simply put, he’ll bulldoze defenders in his wake. In terms of pass protection, Fuaga has more than adequate foot speed, and while he can be a tad overzealous, he can keep up with speedy edge rushers.
The Raiders can’t afford to whiff on a first-round pick. Tyree Wilson was, by all accounts, a “project” at best, a raw player. Now that the team has a formidable defense, you need to make sure the offense doesn’t fall behind. Wow, let that sink in: “defense” and “Raiders.”
*Top Photo: Oregon State Athletics