Raiders

Raiders could draft present, future help at offensive tackle this week

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AP

Raiders could draft present, future help at offensive tackle this week

Offensive tackles aren’t cheap, especially those featured on the left. The Raiders have paid Donald Penn decent sums in recent seasons to play at a Pro Bowl level, but he won’t be around much longer.

He could call it a career after his contract expires in 2019. The Raiders also need a shorter-term solution at right tackle after trial-and-error in recent years.

That puts offensive tackle firmly in play in the early rounds of this NFL draft. While the Raiders have more pressing needs in 2018, it makes sense to add a right tackle of the present and left tackle of the future right now.

Going young and cheap on the outside seems vital, considering how much center Rodney Hudson and guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson are set to make.

Going for a tackle at No. 10 overall shouldn’t be eliminated as a prospect, but it makes more sense to trade down some if targeting an offensive tackle in the first round. Here are some options early, and a smidge later, with the pedigree and talent to be a front-line starter.

Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
-- He’s the consensus top offensive tackle in this NFL draft, and some even have him going to the Raiders at No. 10. Projections have him going all over the first round, but should be available with a trade down from 10. He’s technically sound, with great work ethic and an ability to play on the right and left. Some consider McGlinchey unspectacular, but he’s reliable and fits most any blocking scheme.
Projected round (per NFL.com): 1

Kolton Miller, UCLA
-- Miller’s one of a surprising few expected to go in the first round, and is considered a player with boom-or-bust potential. He has excellent size and power, fully able to pass protect and run block into the second level. He identifies blitzers and surprise rushers quickly and adjusts, analysts say. He doesn’t have great bend and can be vulnerable against power rushers. Opinions vary on Miller’s NFL prospects, but he could be the second tackle off the board.
Projected rounds (per NFL.com): 1-2

Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
-- Brown is an All-American and Outland Trophy finalist with some great college tape, but had a terrible combine that hurt his draft prospects. His athleticism and strength were called into question, and analysts say his quickness is below average. He has great size at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds, but doesn’t have proportional strength. He could be coached up well, and may be a bargain later on Day 2.
Projected rounds (per NFL.com): 2-3

Joseph Noteboom, Texas Christian
The former Horned Frog has solid size (6-5, 319) and strength, with the ability to add more muscle. Analysts say he’s inconsistent, but flashed great talent and athleticism during the combine and the Senior Bowl. He plays well in space, but needs to remain technically sound under pressure. He has all the tools to excel in the pros, especially if paired with a good coach who can develop him quickly.
Projected rounds (per NFL.com): 2-3

Arden Key signs, entire Raiders 2018 draft class now under contract

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AP

Arden Key signs, entire Raiders 2018 draft class now under contract

The Raiders drafted nine players back in April. Now they’re all under contract.

Third-round edge rusher Arden Key was the last to ink his rookie deal, putting pen to paper on a four-year rookie deal Friday morning.

Key will make an estimated $3.57 million over the league of the deal with a $834k signing bonus, per athletic salary site spotrac.com.

The current collective bargaining agreement and its rookie wage scale makes signing draft picks far easier, with little wiggle room to negotiate deals.

The Raiders locked up their last rookie the day after the offseason program’s conclusion. NFL teams largely go quiet during this time, until training camps begin in late July.

The Raiders are excited about Key’s potential. The LSU product believes he’s a first-round talent who dropped due to off-field concerns and a drop in his 2017 production over the previous year.

Key has flashed great athleticism, quickness and bend. He could make an immediate impact as a third edge rusher behind Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.

“Arden Key,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said, “has got some special pass-rush ability.”

Reports: Raiders WR Martavis Bryant's standing with NFL in question

Reports: Raiders WR Martavis Bryant's standing with NFL in question

The Raiders gave up significant draft capital to acquire receiver Martavis Bryant. The trade cost a third-round pick, something the Silver and Black were willing to sacrifice for a game-breaking talent missing from their arsenal.

They might've traded for a player who will be unavailable. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported Thursday night that the Raiders are concerned the NFL will discipline Bryant. The report also states discipline is believed to stem from poor standing with the substance abuse policy.

That would be news to Bryant. As of late Friday morning, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area, the NFL had not notified Bryant about issues with his standing with the league.

An NFL spokesman declined comment when asked if the league was considering discipline for Bryant.

Bryant violated the NFL substance abuse policy multiple times while playing in Pittsburgh. The Clemson product has been suspended twice over failed drug tests, and missed the entire 2016 season as a repeat offender of the substance abuse policy.

He was conditionally reinstated prior to the 2017 campaign. The receiver must now follow stringent guidelines, including tests and meetings, to remain compliant with the substance abuse policy. In short, more than a failed drug test can get a player in some trouble.

The NFL Network reports the league has identified an issue with Bryant, but that it is not clear if it will result in a delay in his availability – he was held out for the start of training camp last year with Pittsburgh – if the issue can be simply remedied clerically or if it will result in a suspension. NFL Network also reports Bryant met with the league at its New York office in late April, and was in good standing at that time.

Bryant did not participate in Thursday’s Raiders minicamp practice, the last session of their offseason program.

Bryant has not spoken to the press since April 27, when he said the Raiders trade offered a “clean slate” he planned to maximize.

“I’ve had my difficulties in my past, but I’ve come a long way from that,” Bryant said. “It’s all about keeping the right resources around me and continuing to stay on the right path. I’m going to make sure I get that done.”

Bryant has one season left on his contract, originally signed with Pittsburgh. He has looked good in practices open to the press, flashing great speed and an ability to use his 6-foot, 5-inch frame well.