2. Kelechi Osemele
It might be controversial to place a new signing as the second best player on the Raiders 2016 roster, but guard Kelechi Osemele is a special exception. So special that the Oakland Raiders made him one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in NFL history this offseason to pry him away from the Baltimore Ravens and bolster their offensive line.
A natural guard with the ability to move to left tackle, Osemele was originally viewed as a signing to replace Donald Penn when he was announced. However, the Raiders got a deal done with Penn and will be playing Osemele at his natural position at left guard. A coup from general manager Reggie McKenzie that has many believing that the Raiders could surpass the Dallas Cowboys as the NFL’s top offensive line in 2016.
Offensive linemen are often overlooked for flashier skill position players, but Osemele’s addition is hard to ignore as one of the best guards in the league will be added to a line that already had one of the best run blockers in the league in Gabe Jackson as well as one of the best centers in Rodney Hudson. A star-studded offensive line that is now headlined by Osemele, who is now the highest paid guard in the league.
With the game being won and lost in the trenches, the addition of Kelechi Osemele is a big deal even if his impact won’t be noticed as easily on Sundays. The Raiders investment in Osemele speaking for itself as Reggie McKenzie is paying top dollar for a top talent that hopefully can help this team make the next step and become a Super Bowl contender.
– Chase Ruttig