Oakland Raiders: 2014 Positional Grades, Jack Del Rio Thoughts
Offensive Line: B-
I do not care that Austin Howard was the lowest graded guard in the NFL, the weak link to this offensive line is the center. I fully expect Wisniewski to walk away as a free agent mostly because Stephan Corkran has suggested that he has wanted out of Oakland for some time. Good riddance, I do not need a bite sized center who spends most of his time on his butt on this team in the first place and especially one who doesn’t want to be in Oakland. Howard will be moved back to the right tackle spot and he will be very effective if the Raiders decide to go back down the route of some combination of zone blocking and isolation power blocking.
The Raiders need to dip into free agency and add two interior lineman. Watson showed flashes of ability, but as expected he still has some growing to do. I want to see him moved into the swing tackle position and let him learn from Penn and Howard for a year and then be prepared to be the starting left tackle come 2016. He still has a very bright future. Gabe Jackson started off great, but the end of the year was rough. He showed talent as a puller and he will be a monster for this team for a long time.
Wide Receivers: C-
The loss of Rod Streater early in the year truly hurt this receiving corps. As we all know the Raiders do not have a number one receiver and we can debate the philosophy of that claim, but this means the Raiders have a big group of role players. Some of those role players had brilliant flashes. James Jones made gorgeous catches, Andre Holmes is great along the boundary, Thompkins can really stretch the field, and that is about it. I believe we will see a free agent added to this group and a relatively early draft pick.
Next: Positional Grades: Defensive Line Linebackers