Raider draft radar: OT

The Raiders are in need of some upgrades and depth at the offensive tackle position. The only guy who is for sure starting is Jared Veldheer at the left tackle position. At right tackle, Langston Walker may or may not be back as well as his backup Mario Henderson. That leaves four roster spots at the tackle positions that are in a state of uncertainty. It is a position the Raiders must address. But where do they address it?

It seems that guard and corner are the two biggest positions of need mainly due to the impending depature of left guard Robert Gallery and corner Nnamdi Asomugha. But if the Raiders see a player at the tackle position they really like fall into their laps, they could take him despite other needs. Regardless of where in the draft the Raiders grab their guy at tackle, they will be taking one. There is just no way around it.

Here are those most likely Raiders at offensive tackle:

Marcus Cannon, TCU, Round 2

Although I don’t see the Raiders taking a tackle this high in the draft, if they think Cannon is a first round product, they might do it. He has great athleticism and is one of the largest offensive linemen in this draft at 6-5, 358 lbs. He also has long arms and broad shoulders, making him extremely difficult to get around the edge on. He translates well to either tackle or a guard, which makes him a bit more valuable to a team like the Raiders who have a need at both positions.

Marcus Gilbert, Florida, Round 3

He is seen by many as an NFL-ready starting right tackle. Some team could get an anchor on the right side of their line for years to come. The two main questions for the Raiders are 1) Will he still be available when it is their turn to pick, and 2) Do they decide to go with a player at a position they deem a greater need.

Joseph Barksdale, LSU, Round 4

Barksdale is one of those high risk, high reward guys we often speak of. He has all the tools to be an elite player on the NFL level but the biggest concern about him is work ethic. Throw in that he went to LSU and people could mistake that statement as being about JaMarcus Russell. But there is a big difference between a quarterback and an offensive tackle. Barksdale is seen as a guy who does the minimum to get by. That minimum will be a lot greater in the NFL so it is entirely possibly he could rise to the occasion. Just the type of guy a team would take a shot at in the middle rounds.

David Mims, Virginia Union, Round 6

He is the largest offensive lineman in this class at 6-8, 335 lbs. He shined at his Pro Day in March and his stock has been rising ever since — going from an undrafted free agent to a possible mid-round selection. He helped Virginia Union lead all of Division 2 in rushing yards while being named All Conference as well as to the Black College All American team.

Byron Bell, New Mexico, Round 7

The Raiders attended his Pro Day to get a closer look at him. He checks out physically (6-5, 325), but the mental side raises some concern. Bell reportedly had some conflicts with his coaches at New Mexico, though many see that angry streak as a good thing as it only seems to show up on the football field. He started at right tackle to begin his career but was switched to the left side his junior season in 2009. All Mountain West Honorable Mention after he had over 100 knockdown blocks in his senior season alone with at least 10 knockdowns in six of those games. What was that Hue Jackson was saying about building a bully?

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About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

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