Throughout the off-season it looked as though Richard Gordon’s days might have been numbered as an Oakland Raider. General manager Reggie McKenzie drafted two tight ends in the draft and David Ausberry was penciled in as the starting tight end. Throughout training camp Ausberry shined as the starter and rookies Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera showed enough potential to warrant a roster spot. However, with the injuries to Ausberry and starting left tackle Jared Veldheer, Gordon looks like the favorite to start against the Colts on week one.
It looks as though the Raiders offensive line will be awful this year, so having a tight end who can block will be essential for the Raiders. Gordon is the epitome of an old-school blocking tight end. The 6’4 265 pound Gordon has shown that he has the ability to use his big frame and deceptive speed to stop opposing defensive ends from getting to the quarterback. With both tackle positions manned by subpar players, Gordon will be an important player for the Raiders and Matt Flynn’s health.
The problem with Gordon is he has not shown the ability be become a receiver. During his college career at Miami, Gordon only recorded 10 receptions. In two years in Oakland, Gordon has had a whopping three receptions. With the rash of injuries on the offensive line, the Raiders have no choice but to start Gordon for his blocking skills. He will be a good piece to give Flynn a second or two more time and McFadden some holes to run through. Just don’t expect Gordon to be more than a 6th offensive lineman.