Is Khalif Barnes at Right Tackle a Good Idea for the Oakland Raiders?
Many Raider fans are under the train of thought that the Khalif Barnes re-signing means the Raiders won't draft an OT in the first round. They are assuming Mario Henderson and Khalif Barnes will be the Raiders starting tackles.
But is that a good idea?
There are a fair share of arguments for and against Barnes, here's a look at some of them.
First the good.
Barnes was a great offensive tackle in college and has near ideal size at 6'5'' 325. He was good enough to be picked in the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars starting 13 games as a rookie.
Barnes quickly became a starter as the teams left tackle. He had great succes and for 2005, 2006 and 2007 he was the anchor for one of the NFL's most exciting offenses.
In 2006 he led the way for Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor on a team that led the NFL in rushing. In 2007 that same team ranked third in the NFL behind the o-line anchored by Barnes.
With all that it would seem Barnes is great candidate to start.
But then in 2008 the Jaguars were struck with a catastrophic injuries. Despite Barnes being a constant figure at left tackle throughout the season the team saw nine separate players start on the o-line. The teams offensive production dropped dramatically. And through it all Barnes came out unscathed, though he was the most penalized player on one of the most penalized teams in the NFL.
The next year Barnes was released and shortly after signed by the Raiders.
In Oakland injury struck again, but this time Barnes would be the victim. Early in preseason he broke his leg. But he would return to the field.
Nine weeks later as Cornel Green went down with an injury. Barnes was rushed into the starting lineup. Sure he was rushed back from injury, but that is no excuse for his play.
Barnes first two plays as a starter in Oakland resulted in two turnovers as pressure came straight through him or around him.
His first offensive snap at right tackle he was bull-rushed by a defender, then planted on his ass within two seconds. That defender then strip sacked the QB which resulted in an easy score for the Jets offense.
On his second offensive snap a defender beat him around the edge untouched resulting in a panicked QB throwing an INT. And resulting in another easy score for the Jets offense.
Later that game Barnes was benched for Erik Pears who didn't do much better.
Sure it can be argued he just barely recovered from an injury and that it was his first snap on the right side ever. But is that enough to excuse his play or even suggest he will be better?
So what do you think? Did the Raiders resign Barnes simply for depth or as the teams future starter?
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