Offensive tackle is a position that, if it isn't in desperate need right away, could be in short order. For the first time in a while, the Raiders may be in a position to make picks with the long term in mind rather than being forced to take players to fill more immediate needs. Offensive tackle is a position that definitely needs a long term solution and certainly has some immediate uneasiness to it as well.
Here are a few tackles in this draft who the Raiders could look at to quell that uneasy feeling and the round they could go.
Jack Conklin, Michigan State - Round 1
There are three offensive linemen in this year's draft that are consensus top of this class and Conklin is one of them. In most projections, he is the most likely of them to be on the board when the Raiders pick at 14. And if he is, he would be a fantastic pick for a team that has great uncertainty at the offensive tackle position and doesn't expect to have a pick in the top half of the first round again anytime soon.
Conklin has the grit and work ethic the Raiders love, working his way from walk-on to starter in one year and has been the fulltime starting left tackle the past three seasons for the Spartans. He earned Freshman All American his first season as a starter, and All B1G honors his final two seasons.
This 6-6, 310-pounder gave up just one sack and 13 total pressures last season in 392 pass blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus figures. That puts him top ten in pass blocking efficiency in this class (tied with Ronnie Stanley at 97.4). But where he really excels is as a run blocker.
He is considered the best power man scheme offensive tackle in this class. He can play on either side of the line and his run blocking prowess could even allow him to line up inside if the need arises, adding versatility to his list of virtues.
Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech - Round 3
No one in this class had more pass blocking snaps than Clark. His 643 snaps in pass pro is more than three times as many as top left tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil (224). And yet, Clark gave up just two sacks. You also won't find a more experienced tackle in this class with Clark starting 51 games in four seasons for the Red Raiders.
This 6-5, 316-pounder has never missed a game and has started every game of his college career - at guard as a freshman and the last three at left tackle. He has all the physical traits NFL teams covet in a tackle and even at 316 pounds, can add weight.
The word scouts love to use with Clark is ‘upside' and no offensive line coach in the league is more adept at seeing upside and bringing it out than Mike Tice.
Shon Coleman, Auburn - Round 3-4
The Raiders love guys with stories of perseverance and few if any will have a more inspiring story than Coleman who missed two years of college fighting leukemia then went on to be a two-year starter at left tackle for the Tigers. He earned All SEC second team honors last season and is about to earn his Masters degree.
He's still considered to need some work, but his stats are already quite impressive, giving up 2 sacks and just 10 total pressures in 312 pass blocking snaps. He's powerful both against the run and the pass.
One reason he could slip this far is due to his age (he'll turn 25 during the season) after having spent six years in college --the first two years undergoing cancer treatments, the third year redshirting while he got back in football shape, the fourth year as a backup, and the final two seasons as a starter. Also, whenever you're talking about cancer, there's always the risk that it could come back.
Brandon Shell, South Carolina - Round 6
Nephew of Raiders Hall of Fame left tackle Art Shell, Brandon has the pedigree, though outside of earning Freshman All SEC honors, he doesn't have the accolades to show for it. The 6-5, 324-pounder started his first three seasons at right tackle for the Gamecocks before moving to the left side as a senior where he allowed ZERO sacks and just 7 total pressures in 398 pass blocking snaps. Those numbers hold up regardless of his legendary bloodlines.