Exploring the Oakland Raiders first round draft options after retaining starting left tackle Donald Penn.
With veteran Donald Penn agreeing to return to Oakland in 2016, the Silver and Black have assumedly filled their pressing need at the left tackle position, which in turn, is expected to have a significant impact on how GM Reggie McKenzie will use his first-round selection in this year’s draft.
Though some believed Oakland was turning their backs on Penn once they had signed former Baltimore Ravens offensive linemen Keleche Osemele to a huge deal on the first day of free agency, head coach Jack Del Rio still had a clear idea of who he wanted protecting Derek Carr’s blindside in 2016.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m gonna tell you the truth, I was pissed,” Penn said of the signing of Osemele, via Levi Damien of SilverandBlackPride.com. “I called Jack Del Rio when I saw they were signing him, I called him on his cell phone. We had a long talk and he reassured me that he (Osemele) was going to play guard. I was upset. I was mad because I thought he was coming in to play tackle. That was one of the times when I thought I wasn’t going to come back there with the Raiders. But I called Jack Del Rio and he reassured me the guy was playing guard and that they wanted me back.”
According to NFL.com, Penn will sign a two-year, $14 million deal with nearly $7 million guaranteed in 2016.
With now two quality investments made in their offensive line, the Raiders do have an opportunity to address another pressing need in their roster, but McKenzie should stick to drafting the top remaining player on his board whether or not he is an offensive lineman.
Here are four prospects that McKenzie and company should look to bring in at No. 14 in order to avoid reaching for a need, and instead, come away with some of the top players in this year’s draft class.