Like the quarterback spot, the Raiders’ offensive line represents a fairly significant future need, but not necessarily an immediate one warranting a high first-round selection.
Sure, there are some elite-level tackle prospects available this year, led by Auburn’s Greg Robinson and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, and both could be instant impact players wherever they land.
However, despite a curious start to the offseason, the Raiders made a point of upgrading the offensive front in free agency, where they added three starters to the group overall.
Although veteran Donald Penn won’t have too many years left in the tank, his two-year $9.6 million deal suggests he will start at left tackle for at least this season.
2013 second-round selection Menelik Watson should have every opportunity to win the starting job on the right side, thus it becomes unlikely that the Raiders will spend a high pick to compete with him no matter how Watson's rookie season went.
As good as Robinson and Matthews may turn out to be, the Raiders may not be in the market for any of the draft’s top offensive linemen.
Instead, looking at it as they might the quarterback position, the Raiders could opt for a prospect who would have a better opportunity to contribute early.