clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What condition the Raiders position is in pre-draft: Tight end

New, comments

We check on the tight end position for the Raiders pre-draft to give it a condition of either Strong, Stable, Touch and go, Serious, or Critical.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Starters: Clive Walford, Lee Smith
Depth: Mychal Rivera, Gabe Holmes

All tight ends are returning. Smith is the veteran of the group entering his sixth season at 28 years old. Rivera is the longest tenured Raider, entering his fourth season in Oakland since they selected him in the 6th round of the 2013 draft. Holmes was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and spent much of the season on the practice squad.

Condition: Strong

Walford was a fantastic pick in the third round last year and has only just begun to tap into his potential. Whether anyone else believes Walford has a high ceiling is irrelevant because the Raiders like what he brings to the table and his potential to take big steps forward in year two.

Lee Smith enters his second season with the team as their primary blocking tight end. It isn't a glamorous job, but a necessary one. And he's considered one of the better in the league at that job.

Most teams don't have a young backup tight end with the stats that Rivera put up over his first two seasons for the Raiders. While he may not be an ideal starter, he is a great second option and H-back. If the Patriots have taught us anything over the past few years it's that having two good tight end receiving targets can be a valuable thing.

Rounding out the unit is Gabe Holmes. The Raiders love the potential this former basketball player possesses. Enough that they called him up to the active roster late last season just to keep other teams from trying to sign him off of their practice squad.

Between these four the Raiders have all they need at the tight end position.