With 31-year-old Donald Penn at left tackle and the uncertain future of Menelik Watson at right tackle, offensive tackle is very much among the positions the Raiders will be considering in the this draft. How high they put that priority will depend on a lot of factors.
And interesting fact is every team on which Tony Sparano has been an offensive line coach, offensive coordinator, or head coach, he has chosen an offensive lineman in the draft. Six of those ten picks were offensive tackles. So, the odds are pretty good. Here are the offensive tackles in this draft who fall squarely on the Raiders draft radar.
Taylor Lewan, Michigan - Round 1
There are rumblings that the Raiders like Taylor Lewan better than the consensus top two offensive tackles in this draft - Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson. At 6-7, 315 pounds, he is the biggest of the three top offensive tackles in this class. He also has the added perspective of having played on the defensive line before switching to offensive tackle as a senior in high school. His natural talent, strength and frame make him an intriguing prospect who could easily become the best tackle in this draft. He was already a top 15 level talent in this draft and his stellar performance at the scouting combine has had his stock rising ever since. Among offensive linemen he had the fastest 40-yard dash (4.87), best broad jump (9'9") by three inches over the next best, and was a top performer in every other category. His character came into question recently when he was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault after an altercation outside of a bar following Michigan's loss to Ohio State last December. But Lewan is certainly the type of lineman Tony Sparano covets and it would appear he also has the seal of approval from Reggie McKenzie.
Morgan Moses, Virginia - Round 2
His agility is shocking considering how large he is (6-6, 325 pounds). He also has all the physical traits one looks for in a standout offensive tackle such as long arms. Despite his technique being seen as needing some work, he still dominated against top level college competition both in pass protection and in the run game. His ability to move defenders both at the line and on the second level opened some eyes during Senior Bowl week and put him squarely among the best offensive tackle prospects in this draft.
Billy Turner, North Dakota St - Round 3
The third round is when the FCS and small school standouts like Turner begin to come off the board. North Dakota State won three straight FCS championships while Turner was anchoring the left tackle spot so it's hard to say he has been flying too far under the radar. He began his career at right tackle, moved to left tackle where he then started 44 straight games. Due to his strong run blocking skills and quick feet, some see him as a candidate to shift inside to guard. That versatility only makes him that much more attractive a prospect as he can play anywhere on the offensive line outside of center.
Antonio Richardson, Tennessee - Round 4
At 6-6, 336 pounds, he is a mountain of a man. He isn't a lump, either. He can move that 336-pounds and use it as a battering ram in the run game. For two seasons as the starter for the Volunteers, he was one of the best left tackles in the SEC. He relies a bit too much on his natural abilities which are better than most but to survive at the NFL level, it would require some good coaching. Luckily the Raiders have one of the best offensive line coaches in the league and a left tackle in place to give Richardson the time he needs to refine his technique. He is currently seen as projecting to the right side in the NFL but with the potential to play left tackle. Should the Raiders like him on the right side, he would provide strong competition for last year's round two pick, Menelik Watson.
Kevin Pamphile, Purdue - Round 7
A very under the radar tackle just months ago but his stock is on the rise after an impressive pro day. The Raiders wanted to get a look for themselves so they had him in for a visit to work him out. At 6-5, 310 pounds, he has decent size for an offensive tackle. His workout numbers at his pro day would have put him among the top performers in nearly every category at the scouting combine. The one area that was lacking was his 25 reps on the 225 bench press. Pamphile is about as raw a prospect as they come. The former basketball player didn't even start playing football until his senior year in high school, came to Purdue as a defensive lineman, switched to the offensive line as a junior and didn't start until his senior year. He started just nine games last season at left tackle for Purdue. A real project as a late round pick but could be worth a flier.