September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene (80) is congratulated by offensive linesman Menelik Watson (71) after they scored a touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Will Menelik Watson Make a Big Impact?

The Oakland Raiders could use help in a lot of different areas on their roster, and rookie Menelik Watson should be able to contribute.

Watson, the Raiders No.2 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, is a bit of an enigma. He’s played only three years of football in his life at a couple different colleges, Saddleback Community College in Southern California and Florida State. It’s crazy to think that a young man with such little football experience could climb the ladder to the NFL so quickly, but that’s the beauty of it.

As a former boxer and college basketball player, Watson has developed some impressive athleticism to go along with his big size and versatile strength. He will likely play at the right guard position or right tackle.

Last season, Raiders fans hopelessly had to witness their quarterback Carson Palmer take a beating week in and week out, as the team’s offensive line struggled all season long. It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see Palmer get stuffed in the backfield or take his time to get up off the field.

When a team’s offensive line fails to effectively protect it’s quarterback it creates a huge recipe for the disaster. It leads to the quarterback being anxious during throws and he often ends up rushing his passes or not play to the best of his ability. A bit obvious, but it is the truth.

Watson enters the stage at a key time in the Raiders’ timeline. A rebuilding mode is already in full swing and he has the opportunity to solidify himself as a starter for years to come. He’s got great footwork and has all the potential in the world to become a top offensive lineman. He should be able to learn a lot from the Raiders current lineman in Jared Veldheer, Stefan Wisniewski, and Tony Bergstrom.

Nothing is ever guaranteed in professional sports, but the path to success for Watson seems to be pretty evident. He’s picked up the game of football very quickly and has a tremendous body frame to play the position that he does.

The Raiders could really use his help on the line of scrimmage, and I’m sure that whoever ends up starting at quarterback will be praying that Watson can prove to be a promising prospect.



Tags: Menelik Watson NFL Oakland Raiders

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