The Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in the NFL but have a hole is at right tackle. Menelik Watson, Austin Howard and Vadal Alexander all played there at points in the 2016 season. Injuries and inconsistent play between the three are why the Raiders are still looking for an answer.
The Raiders had hope for Watson but allowed him to walk in free agency after he didn’t work out. Howard played very well for the Raiders in 2015 but hasn’t been the same since tearing his ACL. So GM Reggie McKenzie went out and signed former New York Giants right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
Newhouse is a trustable veteran on the field but you really can’t trust him to stay on it. Newhouse had multiple injuries with the Giants and he’s injured now, not participating in minicamp. One man’s injury is another man’s opportunity in the NFL so Vadal Alexander is working with the ones now.
The 2nd-team All-American slipped to the seventh round last year, where the Raiders took him. And Alexander looked good in spots as a rookie, appearing in nine games, starting in two. At 6’6″ 340 pounds, he’s a huge, strong man and a road-grader, just like the Raiders love.
But Alexander struggled in pass protection against speed in the little playing time that he saw. And that would lead to more than his fair share of holding penalties and giving up a couple of sacks. However, that was just his rookie year so it is possible that he makes a big jump to his second second season.
Training camp starts in just a little over a month from now so injuries could lead to him starting.
Just win, baby!