ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have some versatile offensive linemen capable of playing both sides of center Rodney Hudson.
Head coach Jon Gruden detailed exactly where they’ll play at a Friday media session during Raiders rookie minicamp, formally stating that expensive free-agent addition Trent Brown will play right tackle and 2018 first-round pick Kolton Miller will remain on the left. Last year’s third-round pick Brandon Parker will be the swing tackle.
“We like that as a launching pad for us,” Gruden said. “Trent played very well as a right tackle in San Francisco and left tackle very well for New England. He gives us some versatility. That’s how we’re going start the show.”
That arrangement was formally confirmed, but Gruden offered some new information on Gabe Jackson. The standout guard will remain on the right, where he has played the last three seasons.
He played left guard exclusively in college and two NFL seasons before that but switched sides after Kelechi Osemele came aboard in 2016.
Jackson and Brown will form a formidable pair flanking elite-level center Rodney Hudson, who will continue as the offensive line’s leader.
There is, however, one question mark left.
“The door’s wide open at left guard,” Gruden said. “We’re going to continue to look for players to come in and compete at that position.”
GM Mike Mayock said last week that Denzelle Good was the leader in that competition, but wanted more before writing his name in pen.
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“You know, he played pretty well at the end of last season. I’m not sure, you know, he’s going to have to prove to us that he’s the long-term answer,” Mayock said. “He had some initial success at Indy (Indianapolis Colts) at tackle. He wasn’t able to sustain it. You know, so we need him to be consistent. I mean that’s going to be his challenge because he has the natural ability and size to be a starting guard in the NFL but he’s got to sustain it and be more consistent.”
The Raiders didn’t address the guard position in the NFL draft, though it was under consideration. They have guard/center Jordan Devey in the mix, but he might be an ideal super-sub on the inside. Chaz Green has NFL experience on the inside, with a few undrafted players also now on the squad. Good is the frontrunner and could remain that way unless a new combatant enters the fray.