Few positions on this Raiders team were more of a weak spot than the left guard position. Lucas Nix was rated the worst guard in the NFL until he was replaced by Khalif Barnes who slid inside from tackle late in the season. Two years ago the team drafted Tony Bergstrom in the third round but he was a disappointment even before being lost for all of last season to injury.
This position is in dire need of an upgrade and free agency could be the way to go to fill it. Here are who I see as the best options on the market for the Raiders at guard:
OG Geoff Schwartz 28 - One of the most underrated guards in football the past few years. He came to Kansas City as an unheralded free agent (though I called for him last off-season as well) and by week 12, he took over as the starting right guard. That's no small feat as Asamoah is not too bad in his own rite.
OG Jon Asamoah 26 - Speaking of whom, Asamoah is also a free agent. The Chiefs must decide between him and Schwartz. One of them will be available and either would be an upgrade at left guard for the Raiders. The fourth year guard was the Chiefs' every day starter the past three years (until late last season, that is).
OG Zane Beadles 27 - It's a bit of a coincidence there are three guards from inside the division on this list. Then again, the value of a player goes up slightly when considering you are not only adding a strong piece to the team but taking one away from a division rival. Beadles has been the fulltime starter at left guard for the Broncos his entire four-year career. He was a Pro Bowler just a season ago and this season helped Knowshon Moreno have a break out year.
C Alex Mack 28 - He has not been happy with the losing ways in Cleveland. He is also not happy with coaching turnover which undoubtedly contributes to those losing ways. The Browns are more likely to use the Franchise tag on safety T.J. Ward which frees up Mack to test the market. Any interest in Mack would involve the idea of moving Stefen Wisniewski to guard which may or may not even be in the Raiders' thought process. Wisniewski would be a Pro Bowl caliber left guard and Mack is already a Pro Bowl center. Talk about shoring up the offensive line with this move.
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