Sep 24, 2014; Bagshot, UNITED KINGDOM; Oakland Raiders tackle Dan Kistler (65) and guard Tony Bergstrom (70) at practice at Pennyhill Park Hotel in advance of the NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie selected offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom with his first pick for the Silver and Black in the third round of the 2012 draft. Unfortunately, this memorable selection will not have a “story book” ending, as Bergstrom is on the fringe of being cut before he enters his fourth season in the NFL.
The former University of Utah left guard is a technically sound, reliable run blocker that often times can get into the necessary position to block a defender, but he has lack the strength to drive out bigger defensive lineman and can sometimes appear overpowered in games. Bergstrom has started in just one of the nine games he has appeared in, due in large part to a foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2013 season.
Although it could be argued that McKenzie still wants to see Bergstrom continue to develop, as his progress has been slowed due to injury, but the his 2015 NFL draft could serve as an indicator that the team is looking to move on.
With their fourth-round pick Oakland selected former University of Miami (Fla.) guard Jon Feliciano. At 6’4″, 323 pounds Feliciano is a massive offensive lineman prospect with the physical tools to develop into a destructive within the interior of the offense.
Unless Bergstrom can find a way to secure a role as a priority backup center behind free agent addition Rodney Hudson, Oakland should choose to release the 28-year-old veteran in favor of developing the younger Feliciano.
Next: Fringe Players: Kenbrell Thompkins