Can Eddy Pineiro beat out Giorgio Tavecchio?
While Eddy Pineiro was not drafted by the Raiders in the 2018 NFL Draft, it certainly did not take the organization long to get him on the roster. Pineiro teamed with 2018 Raiders draft pick Johnny Townsend at the University of Florida, and there is a good chance the two special teamers will be the starting unit for the Raiders in 2018.
Last season, Giorgio Tavecchio took over for Sebastian Janikowski when the veteran kicker hurt his back. Janikowski ended up going on season-ended IR, and it was Tavecchio’s show for the entire 16-game slate. He played well as a rookie, but it looks like he is losing his grip on the starting job this spring.
Recently in OTAs, Pineiro got every kick during a field goal drill, and showed the kind of leg strength, and accuracy that made him one of the best kickers in college football. He would easily unseat Tavecchio as the starter in Oakland in 2018, but he has a long way to go before the Raiders get rid of a kicker who missed only one extra point last season.
If Pineiro wins the job, this special teams unit is going to look a lot different in 2018. Townsend replaces Marquette King, who was released by the team this offseason, and Pineiro has shown that he is at least going to make this a race this summer.