Oakland Raiders depth chart projections: Offense

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August 15, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Khalif Barnes (69) and tackle Donald Penn (72) block Detroit Lions defensive end Jason Jones (91) during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Lions 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

One of the most often-repeated but completely true football cliches is that games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage or “in the trenches.” As your offensive line goes, so goes your offense. To this end, the Raiders have invested heavily in developing a quality offensive line to protect young Derek Carr as well as to establish a run game that will take some pressure off of him and allow the Raiders to sustain drives and control the ball.

Reggie McKenzie has drafted five offensive linemen since becoming GM of the Raiders. He has also added several in free agency, including last year’s starting left tackle Donald Penn and starting right guard Austin Howard. This offseason was no different: McKenzie took Miami guard Jon Feliciano in the 4th round of the draft and Tennessee State tackle Anthony Morris in the 7th. He also made center Rodney Hudson, formerly of the Chiefs, his marquee signing of the free agency period.

The O-line is a position group where you want to have depth going into camp – primarily because you want to be able to truly find the best guys to make the roster, but also because you want to have a high level of competition for those roster spots and you want to ensure that your best o-linemen aren’t getting hurt in meaningless preseason games. To that end, the Raiders have no fewer than 14 offensive lineman on the roster currently, fighting for about nine roster spots in total.

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  • The Raiders seem pretty well set at offensive tackle. Former Pro Bowler Donald Penn returned to form for the Raiders in his first year in Silver and Black, keeping opposing rushers from Derek Carr’s blind side. On the right side, the Raiders struggled to find consistency at the key run-blocking spot with Menelik Watson and Khalif Barnes in 2014, but the word is that Austin Howard will slide out from right guard to man the position – his more natural fit.

    Watson and Barnes remain on the roster, though Barnes may slide inside to guard. The Raiders also signed J’Marcus Webb, who has started 45 NFL games for the Bears and Vikings, though hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2012 in Chicago. The Raiders also have Matt McCants, who has been with the team since 2013, Dan Kistler, who was an undrafted rookie for the Raiders last year and spent 2014 on the practice squad, and 7th round pick Anthony Morris.

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  • Last year, 3rd round selection Gabe Jackson emerged as the starter at left guard early in the year and played very well, and is expected to improve for this year after a full NFL offseason program. At the right guard spot, the Raiders may look at rookie Jon Feliciano for the role, though Lamar Mady, Tony Bergstrom and perhaps Khalif Barnes will also compete at this position. Quinterrius Eatmon, undrafted rookie out of Florida, may also be looked at as a guard, though he was a college tackle.

    The center position is locked down: Rodney Hudson was the best free agent lineman on the market this offseason, and is a Pro Bowl-caliber player who was key to the Chiefs’ rushing attack over the past few seasons. While it’s unclear who will be his backup (Khalif Barnes, perhaps?), he is definitely the starter.



    1. Donald Penn (LT)

    2. Austin Howard (RT)

    3. Menelik Watson

    4. Matt McCants


    1. Gabe Jackson (LG)

    2. Khalif Barnes (RG)

    3. Jon Feliciano

    4. Tony Bergstrom


    1. Rodney Hudson

    PRACTICE SQUAD: Anthony Morris

    RELEASED: Lamar Mady, Daniel Kistler, Quinterrius Eatmon, J’Marcus Webb

    Next: Depth Chart Projection: WR