Oakland Raiders: Ranking team’s offensive positional needs this offseason

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images /
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Oakland Raiders
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images /

3. Offensive Line

There are two things we learned from the performance of the offensive line this season. The first is that Tom Cable needs to go – sooner, rather than later. And that he shouldn’t have been hired in the first place, if we’re being honest here.

The second thing we learned is that the Raiders have an appalling lack of depth and that needs to be addressed PDQ. Brandon Parker showed some flashes, but he played about as well as you’d expect a rookie to play overall – meaning, he should have spent a year riding the pine and learning. Experience is the best teacher, so hopefully, we’ll see an uptick in his play next season.

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Still, the injuries across the offensive line this year showed just how thin and ill-prepared Oakland’s backups are. With Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele missing time with injury, and rookie Kolton Miller playing about as well as somebody can play on one leg for most of the year, it’s obvious the team is going to need viable backups next year if they hope to keep Carr upright and healthy, and this offense moving forward.

Aside from their starting five of Jackson, Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Miller, and Parker, the Raiders have a collection of castoffs and spare parts, really – and some of them on expiring contracts like Jon Feliciano. It wouldn’t be too hard to see them bring Feliciano back in a reserve role as he’s been relatively solid and provides a lot of versatility.

They’re going to need to upgrade their reserves – and oh yeah, get a better offensive line coach. As far as their reserves go, you could see them expend some draft capital. However, it seems more likely Gruden dips into the free agent market for some salty old veterans to flesh out that depth chart.

A few interesting names set to hit the open market are Jared Veldheer – you all remember him, right? Mike Iupati could be a valuable backup inside, while Veldheer or Jermon Bushrod might be fits as well.

Ultimately, the line  – both starters and reserves – might be in better shape and have much improved play with a better coach running things.