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Raiders might look for help at offensive tackle in NFL draft

The Raiders boast arguably the best interior offensive line in the NFL with guards Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson and center Rodney Hudson.

With the three big men all under age 30 and depth behind them, don’t expect the Raiders to spend one of their 11 draft picks on a interior lineman during next week’s NFL draft.

The Raiders appear set there for years, but the same can’t be said about the tackle spots.

It’s possible that the Raiders haven’t found their 2018 starting right tackle even with the signing of Breno Giacomini this offseason. Donald Penn is one of the NFL’s best left tackles, but he turns 35 next week and is coming off foot surgery.

Oakland probably will address its blind-side concerns at the draft. But will coach Jon Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie select a tackle in the first round or wait until the later rounds?

With many needs on defense, the Raiders are probably eyeing one of the quality defensive prospects who will be available at No. 10.

Last year, the Raiders went defense for their first three selections, just like in 2016. David Sharpe, an offensive tackle from Florida, was taken in the fourth round. Sharpe played five games and had two shaky starts when Penn was injured.

Sharpe could be Penn’s backup again in 2018, with Giacomini and Vadal Alexander battling to start at right tackle.

Gruden has made it clear that blocking and running the ball are a priority. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders select an offensive tackle Thursday in the first round, and they could trade down to do it.

Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey is considered by many draft experts as the top offensive tackle. But guessing where he could be selected is a crapshoot.

In four NFL.com mock drafts, McGlinchey went as high as eighth and as low as 32nd.

“I look at Donald Penn at age 35, and I think a guy like Mike McGlinchey, who’s clearly the No. 1 tackle in the draft, would have to be of interest,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Friday about the Raiders’ possible first-round pick.

McGlinchey’s college teammate, Quenton Nelson, probably would be a top three pick any other year. But the talented offensive guard is expected to fall out of the top five because of the quarterback depth in this class.

If the Raiders pass on an offensive tackle in the first round, Tyrell Crosby of Henderson could be a fit later. Crosby started 13 games at offensive tackle for Oregon in 2017 and was named first team All-Pac 12 Conference.

Crosby is projected to go in the second round. The Raiders pick ninth in the round.

Top offensive linemen

■ Quenton Nelson, guard, Notre Dame, 6 feet 5 inches, 329 pounds: Labeled as the most likely to succeed by many draft experts. A powerful guard who can contribute right away.

■ Will Hernandez, guard, Texas-El Paso, 6-2, 348 pounds: The Las Vegan shot up draft boards after impressing scouts at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine. A meteoric rise for the Chaparral High graduate who was hardly recruited before landing at UTEP.

■ Mike McGlinchey, tackle, Notre Dame, 6-8, 312 pounds: Many draft pundits are enamored with his flawless technique as a blocker. Others worry about his lack of foot speed in keeping up with edge rushers.

■ Kolton Miller, tackle, UCLA, 6-9, 310 pounds: Started all 13 games at left tackle for the Bruins in 2017. Helped UCLA improve its running game when he took over the blind side.

■ Isaiah Wynn, tackle, Georgia, 6-3, 313 pounds: Solid pass protector with plenty of power and reliable at creating holes for the running game.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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