A few outlets have come out with their top 100 lists of late. One in particular I trust is the Pro Football Focus top 101in which there was a Raider player to crack the list. But who was it?
With Rotoworld recently rating the Raiders starting lineup as the worst in football, I would not have been surprised if there wasn't a single player to make the PFF top 100 list. But one player did - left tackle Jared Veldheer.
Veldheer sneaks in at the 91 spot in the top 100 - the last offensive tackle to make the list. A total of nine offensive tackles make the list which makes Veldheer a top 10 NFL offensive tackle. The others on the list were Duane Brown (13), Joe Staley (16), Joe Thomas (34), Ryan Clady (47), Michael Roos (52), Sebastian Vollmer (54), Russell Okung (55), Anthony Davis (80), and Will Beatty (85).
This might surprise those who are not familiar with Veldheer's work, but he has been quietly one of the best left tackles in the NFL over the past couple seasons. He flies under the radar for a few reasons.
He wasn't a top draft pick out of big time program - he went to Hillsdale college and was drafted in the third round -- , he got off to a rocky start in the NFL when he was tried at center and left tackle as a part time player for the first half of his rookie season, and the Raiders offensive line as a whole was among the worst in football last season.
What all those facts have in common is none of them had anything to do with Veldheer. He continues to block the blind side of whomever lines up behind center and has yet to receive the recognition he deserves. Making this list is a good start. I expect more recognition will follow.