Among what figures to be the top five needs for the Raiders is offensive tackle. They have a few in house, but left tackle Donald Penn is in the final year of his contract at the age of 35 and right tackle Marshall Newhouse is not the long term answer either.
The Raiders new coaching staff are accutely aware of the impending need to find an answer at tackle. Defense may be the more immediate need, but according to Vic Tafur at the Athletic, the Raiders’ interest at last week’s Scouting Combine was focused considerably on the tackles.
Gruden was excited to talk to everybody last week, but it sure seems like the Raiders met with every offensive tackle in Indianapolis. Even just big guys walking around on the street. Just hitting on a young tackle and an impact defensive player would make this draft a huge success, especially compared to the last three years.
What this means isn’t entirely cut and dry. It could mean one of several things. Obviously, if there was no need at all, they wouldn’t waste their efforts. But it may not necessarily mean they are placing any greater importance on the position than others. It could just be that they’re looking to sort out their draft board and/or perhaps strike on a tackle on the final two days of the draft.
Either way, it was something that caught my attention as worth noting.