Grading Raiders 2013 off-season moves: Offensive Line

Offensive linemen at Oakland Raiders training camp 2012 - Levi Damien

With the skill positions out of the way, we shift to the big uglies up front to grade the Raiders off-season moves along the offensive line.

Last season there was a new starter at every interior line position. Stefen Wisniewski moved to center, Cooper Carlisle moved from right guard to left guard, and the team added Mike Brisiel as a free agent. The tackle positions remained the same with Jared Veldheer and Khalif Barnes at left and right tackle respectively.

The offensive line play was a travesty. Much of that had to do with the change in scheme. Adding to their issues was Barnes and Brisiel both getting injured. Barnes was replaced by Willie Smith for a few games and Brisiel dealt with a nagging ankle injury all season.

Here is what the team has done with the line this off-season.

Departures

OL coach Frank Pollack - The biggest problem with the offensive line last season was the zone blocking scheme. That goes bye-bye with Pollack and former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

Unsigned Free Agents: OG Cooper Carlisle

Additions

OT Alex Barron - The former first round pick was once a full-time starter. He hasn't been that for three years and was out all last season with an injured knee. Before his injury, he had tried out for several teams and they passed on him. The best hope for him at this point is to usher backup Willie Smith out the door.

OL coach Tony Sporano - Arguably the best addition to the Raiders this off-season. His offensive line coaching in Dallas earned him a head coaching job in Miami. He is very good at what he does and it was a tremendous hire for this staff.

Re-signed Free Agents: OT Khalif Barnes

Breakdown: I add the coaches here because the switch in scheme is considerably important to the success of this unit. They switch back to Power Blocking in which they had great success in 2011. An upgrade at right tackle and possibly left guard are greatly needed. There were a few good options on the market but none were signed.

Offensive Line grade: C


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