Lately, rumors surfaced that Jon Feliciano will make his first start at right guard.
J’Marcus Webb is ruled out with an injury. Oh No!?!
However, Webb ranks as one of the worst starting linemen in the league. He is the only Raiders linemen with a negative grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
However, the rookie Feliciano should not start. Neither should the always reliable and available Khalif Barnes.
Barnes is on the downside of his career and those reps should be used to develop the future right guard.
Tony Bergstrom was the first draft pick of Reggie McKenzie. Out of Utah, Bergstrom played all across the offensive line.
However, he represents the previous regime’s philosophy of quick offensive linemen for the zone blocking scheme.
Thus, he moved from the guard position to the center position. A position he started at while Rodney Hudson was out with injury. Bergstrom shined and also registered a positive PFF grade.
Of course, he was not gonna dethrown Hudson from the starting job. Hudson is one of the best centers in the league.
Therefore, Bergstrom should enter the starting lineup again. I understand he is a little smaller than the other Raiders guards. However, he would help with blitz pickup against a Green Bay Packers defense that is renowned for confusion.
As for the run game, the Raiders offensive line can not play much worst. I’d like to see them bring in Bergstrom so we can see more stretch and zone plays. I like the playcalls because they utilize the speed of Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones.
Lastly, Bergstrom should start so we can see what we have in him. His contract is ending soon, and it will be his last shot to prove he can be a full-time starter. That alone should motivate him to play his best.
As for Feliciano, the Raiders drafted him as a developmental piece. I do not know if he is ready to start. IF he is not ready to start, throwing him to the Packers will not help his confidence or development.
The Raiders capped off the first week of Free Agency by adding some weight named Donald Penn to an Offensive line in need of some help at the left tackle position.
Donald Penn is a former undrafted free agent whom has spent the last few seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Penn chose the Oakland Raiders over the Redskins because he wanted an opportunity to play at left Tackle. Penn has started at left tackle the past few seasons for the Tampa Buccaneers. He has struggled with his weight but he was a pro-bowl alternate a few years ago.
PFF focus has a higher rating on Penn then Veldheer but Penn is aged 31. The move is a low risk one for the Raiders as it is a 2 year deal with less then 3 million a season guaranteed.
Football wise, Penn is a monster. He has a chance to compete with Manelik Watson for the starting position at Left Tackle. With Watson’s history of injury, I am glad to hear the Raiders have a back plan in case Watson gets injured or is unready to be a fulltime starter.
The past couple of seasons the Raiders have wanted establish an imposing bully on the Offensive line. Boothe, Howard, and now Penn are all quality veterans with a lot of experience and even more LBS. The Raiders should finally have the bully to open holes for McFadden, so he can get down hill and take runs the distance.
Best part of Penn’s deal is there are no big cap implications if he is cut after the season. Otherwise, Penn has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove after being cut by the Buccaneers. The Raiders should be able to get Penn’s best football in the twilight of his career.