The Oakland Raiders lost their most important player Jared Veldheer to partially torn triceps. While there still has been some speculation on how long Veldheer will be out, he will miss at least half the season for the silver-and-black. Former first round pick Alex Barron will be the man to replace Veldheer this season.
Barron has not seen NFL action in nearly three years which does not bode well for the new look Raiders offense. During Barron’s tenure with the St. Louis Rams he was the second most penalized offensive lineman in the NFL. Can you imagine Barron teaming up with the yellow flag machine Khalif Barnes for eight games this season?
In an ideal world, Barron has vastly improved his ability over the last few years but that is unlikely as he hasn’t seen the field since 2010. Barron has worked out for a few teams over the years and left without contract offers. In fact, Barron was not even called by any other team for even a try out this off-season. Head coach Dennis Allen has liked what Barron has showed this off-season so maybe Barron has turned a corner in his awful career. New offensive line coach Tony Sparano has his hands full this training camp as he tries to put an NFL caliber offensive line together with a group of rejects and unknowns.
Barron must show he can protect the blind side and open up holes during the preseason for the Raiders to feel comfortable with him as their starting left tackle. If Barron fails to produce it would not surprise me if they sign another veteran offensive tackle from the NFL scrap heap.