It’s hard to know what’s more amazing. The fact that Cornell Green was essentially a three-year starter for the Raiders or that the Buffalo Bills looked hard at that film and gave him a three-year contract.
With Green officially gone (you never know with the Raiders when players will boomerang to silver and black), it increases speculation Al Davis will be looking hard at an offensive tackles in the draft.
It’s logical thinking, with the danger being the Raiders haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory locating tackles in the past. We’ll give Mario Henderson (third round, 2007) the benefit of the doubt because he’s entering only his second season as a starter.
A rundown of the other Day 1 selections in the last 10-plus years:
– Paul McQuistan, third-round, 2006: Looked at originally as a tackle in an Art Shell power-blocking scheme, he never flourished as a zone blocker and battled injury.
– Robert Gallery, first round, (No. 2 overall, 2004): Struggled under revolving-door of line coaches until Tom Cable dubbed him a square peg in a round hole, put him at guard, and salvaged the selection.
– Langston Walker, second round, 2002: Coaches and teammates at Cal were stunned Walker went this high. He did eventually become a starter at right tackle, but had more bad games than good ones. The Bills gave him a huge free agent contract (you’d think they would have learned something about Raiders right tackles) and regretted it.
– Matt Stinchcomb, first round, No. 18 overall, 1999: Played the end of his senior year with a serious shoulder injury, and _ surprise! _ had reconstructive shoulder surgery early as a Raider. Went from tackle to guard to center, mastering none.
– Mo Collins, 1998, No. 23 overall: Powerful interior blocker drafted as a tackle but was better in a phone both than in space. Shifted to guard and played well.
The names you’ll be hearing about the most until April 22?
Russell Okung (Oklahoma State), Trent Williams (Oklahoma), Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) and Anthony Davis (Rutgers), the four players expected to go in the upper half of the first round. There’s also combine warrior Bruce Campbell of Maryland, deemed a reach at No. 8, much as his college teammate Darrius Heyward-Bey, was a reach at No. 7 in 2009.