Question: The Raiders did absolutely nothing to improve the offensive line. No help in the draft. Barry Sims, Jake Grove, Robert Gallery = starting lineup. These three guys got their tails handed to them last year, and please don't say it was the system that allowed them to be taken to the ground or have numerous false starts to kill drives. How many times was Grove pushed into the quarterback? Gallery waving at the defensive end as he goes around him. Sims lost on stunts. If these guys start it will be a repeat disaster. Is anyone paying attention?
- Rich, Pleasanton
Answer: There are a few reasons the Raiders weren't heavy on offensive linemen in this draft.
1) They like Kevin Boothe, a second-year player that started 14 games last season. There's also the chance another second-year player, Paul McQuistan could develop.
2) The believe the additions of Jeremy Newberry and Cooper Carlisle helped the unit.
3) The zone-blocking scheme being implemented that is similar to the Denver Broncos system doesn't put a high priority on drafting linemen early in the draft.
4) Kiffin hinted at changes he's made up front that we'll get to see when minicamp starts this week.
5) They're not giving up on Gallery or Grove yet.
I don't blame a player getting run over on a weekly basis just on scheme, either. But considering the money invested in someone like Gallery, the team just won't cut him.
The only offensive lineman drafted this year was tackle Mario Henderson in the third round. After taking two linemen last year, the Raiders don't want to be stocked with a bunch of young unproven lineman. Also, Gallery and Grove are still young.
So you better hope the Raiders hunch is right, or whoever the quarterback is could be on his back a lot.
- Jason Jones