The Raiders brass have made it clear that one of the things they value most in a lineman is versatility. With Danny Kistler, that's exactly what you get as he has played right tackle and both guard spots during his collegiate career at the University of Montana.
He is a true mammoth of a man at 6'7" and 315 pounds. As a star high school lineman in the Seattle area, Kistler held offers from Big Ten schools such as Purdue and Ohio State, which was his dream school. However, injuries to his ankle and arm led Ohio State to withdraw their offer and Kistler attended Montana instead, where he became a standout at both right guard and right tackle.
Kistler earned FCS First-Team All-American honors in 2013 and First team All-Big Sky honors in both 2013 and 2012 while playing right tackle, and started all 14 games at right guard in 2011 as a sophomore. He was widely viewed as one of, if not the best lineman in the conference.
While Kistler does lack some athleticism and is seen as 'lumbering' by scouts, he is a mean, tough competitor with great character off the field. He is a team leader and responds well to coaching, having improved his play every year in high school and college. He isn't as explosive as you'd generally like to see from someone his size but he is a hard-nosed tough guy who truly loves the game.
Let's imagine for a moment that Kistler never hurt his ankle in high school. He would likely have attended Ohio State and played under Jim Tressel and then Urban Meyer. He could have essentially become what Jack Mewhort is, and Mewhort was a second-round pick of the Colts.
Mewhort and Kistler both remind me an awful lot of Patriots star Logan Mankins. Obviously Mankins is a best-case scenario for Kistler but that's the type of player the Raiders are getting. Kistler is a real mountain of a guy with all the potential in the world for Tony Sparano to work with.