This offseason the Raiders have talked about the open competition at the right tackle position. That’s another way of saying they don’t have a starter. They also have to start thinking about who will replace Donald Penn who figures to be in his final NFL season.
If they are to get that right tackle starter and/or their heir apparent to Penn, here’s where I see them finding it.
Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame -- Round 1
A three-year starter at Notre Dame. McGlinchey is the ideal tackle for the Raiders. Having began his career with the Fighting Irish at right tackle and moved to left tackle his past two seasons. That is just what he would do for the Raiders. Stepping in as the right tackle for a season before moving to left tackle as the eventual replacement for Donald Penn.
He has ideal size at 6-8, 310 pounds with 34-inch arms. Projects as a mid first round pick, making him an especially good selection should the Raiders trade down. He surrendered 3 sacks and 11 hurries last season in pass protection and Tom Cable will love his run blocking and screen blocking. After how he and Quenton Nelson teamed up in South Bend, imagine what he can Keleche Osemele could do.
Tyrell Crosby, Oregon – Round 2
A four-year starter for the Ducks. Like McGlinchey, Crosby began at right tackle and moved to left tackle his final two seasons. A foot injury ended his junior season after 2 games. But he returned last season to start every game at left tackle giving up ZERO sacks and just 7 total pressures all season. The 6-5, 320-pounder put up near elite numbers in every category last season, including run blocking.
Kolton Miller, UCLA – Round 3
The tallest offensive lineman in this draft at 6-8.5, 309 pounds. He also ran the 40 a full second faster than Brown (4.91) showing his athleticism. Miller doesn’t have the experience of the above draft counterparts. He has just 23 college starts – 9 at right tackle, 14 at left tackle.
In his 13 starts at left tackle last season, he gave up just 2 sacks and 16 pressures in 579 pass blocking snaps. Protecting for top quarterback Josh Rosen, Miller had the second most pass blocking snaps of any tackle in this draft. For comparison, the closest to that among the above tackles was McGlinchey with 168 fewer pass blocking snaps (411).
Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan – Round 5
Obviously the biggest knock on Okorafor is the level of competition. But if you set that aside for a moment, his numbers stack up very favorably to the other more celebrated tackles in this class. Once again, he started out at right tackle, starting 13 games there as a sophomore. Then he moved to left tackle, starting the past 26 games there. In his 12 starts last season, he gave up 2 sacks and just 8 total pressures and was named first team All-American.
Right now Okorafor is all potential. He grew up in Nigeria playing soccer. Soon he was just too big for the sport and moved on to football. He came to Western Michigan at the age of 16. Now he’s At 6-6, 320 pounds and still just 19 years old. A guy like Tom Cable could see him as a project worthy of cultivating with one of the team’s 5th round picks.
Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Purely on tape, he is the best tackle in this class. And he looked like he could be one of the first off the board until he had one of the worst combines in recent memory. Now where he ends up is uncertain. He certainly looks like he will slip out of the first round. It isn’t just about the numbers he put up, it’s the red flags it presents with regard to his commitment to preparation. It could say to NFL teams that he just doesn’t care to put in the work and the list of great prospects who have flamed out due to poor work ethic is a lot longer than those who lived up to their billing.
The tape shows a 6-8, 345-pound behemoth completely dominating his competition in three years as the everyday starting left tackle, giving up just one sack and 11 total pressures in 478 pass block snaps. Where he struggles is in his mobility. And it at least partially explains his plate tectonic speed combine 40-yard-dash time of 5.85. He also had just 14 bench press reps.
Different teams will see Brown in different ways. Where the Raiders land is not known. If they think his tape outshines his combine, they could look at him in round two. If not, and he is still around in the third round, it would be hard to pass him up if they hadn’t selected a tackle in the first two rounds.