Oakland Raiders: PFF grades praise Menelik Watson’s Week 6 performance


August 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson (71) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Lions 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2013 second round draft pick Menelik Watson has yet to make a lasting impact on the Oakland Raiders offensive line, largely failing to break his way into the top of the depth chart and spending his short career as either a role player on an injured player trying to get healthy. Not what general manager Reggie McKenzie envisioned when he took the high upside former Florida State Seminole from Manchester, England. In fact, Watson’s first game where he played all of the snaps on the offensive line came this past Sunday against the San Diego Chargers where the English pass blocker finally arrived as a Raider.

Watson made the most of the increase in snaps in the absence of Khalif Barnes, ranking as one of the best Raiders players on Sunday according to ProFootballFocus. The second year player finishing with a +3.3 score, higher than any other Raiders in addition to being the only offensive linemen to receive a positive score in run blocking.

From PFF:

"Menelik Watson, RT: +3.3Breakdown: Nothing spectacular here, just a solid display in both phases in his first full game of the season. Allowed just a pair of hurries in 38 snaps pass blocking, with several nice blocks against Kendall Reyes in the run game.Signature Stat: This was the first time in his career (two seasons) that Watson played every offensive snap."

As mentioned by PFF, Watson’s game on Sunday wasn’t the type of stuff you would send to Canton or to NFL Films, the second year player rose to the occasion in what was his first full start at right tackle. Growing into a consistent player on the offensive line is important for Watson’s development as well as the Raiders rebuild as they need their second round draft pick to grow into the player they projected. If he can provide more consistent performances this season the opinions of those around the Raiders surrounding the 2013 second rounder should begin to change as his development into a starter continues.