Buzz builds for Taylor Lewan to Oakland at No. 5

Former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is looking like a candidate to be the Raiders’ first-round draft pick.

Oakland owns the fifth overall pick, and Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune reports that the Raiders like Lewan better than either of the other top offensive tackles in this year’s draft, Greg Robinson of Auburn or Jake Matthews of Texas A&M.

That’s surprising, as most draft analysts view Robinson and Matthews as superior prospects to Lewan. It’s also surprising that we’re even talking about the Raiders using their first-round pick on an offensive tackle, seeing as they’ve already signed left tackle Donald Penn to a two-year, $9.6 million contract and signed right tackle Austin Howard to a five-year, $30 million contract.

But the Raiders are often unconventional, so if their draft board looks different than most teams’ draft boards, that’s par for the course.

Most mock drafts haven’t had Lewan in the Top 5, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper suggested today that the Rams could take Lewan with the second overall pick. So it’s possible that Lewan won’t even be there for the Raiders at No. 5. But if he is, don’t be surprised if the Raiders take him.

29 responses to “Buzz builds for Taylor Lewan to Oakland at No. 5

  1. Howard might play guard, so picking up a potential starter at that position is a good move. The OL was a major problem for the team last year.

  2. Can we stop with the “you know how the Raiders are” stuff? Al is in the ground. Lewan is a better athlete than Matthews and a better pass protector than Robinson. It could just be that he is graded higher by this organization.

    Remember when Mike Mayock said Chance Warmack was the best player in the draft? He wasn’t even the best rookie guard; Larry Warford was the best. Draft analysts are as fallible as anybody.

  3. Should’ve just done whatever it took to keep Veldheer. I’ll be so angry if the Raiders draft a LT with the first pick, especially when we have so many other needs.

  4. Hearing about how the Falcons want to add toughness to their offensive line after Matt Ryan got cheapshotted and nobody did anything makes me think that he’ll be the person they go with if they go o-line.

  5. Lewan would be a beast for Oakland, and is easily the most talented lineman in the draft.
    He’s the next outstanding pro bowl lineman, and has the potential to be the best tackle out of the draft in a decade. Hopefully Oakland is stupid and drafts a WR who runs fast so the Giants can take em.

  6. I sure as heck hope this is some sort of stupid smokescreen by McKenzie. He’s already shown a propensity for reaching, as evidenced by taking DJ Hayden and Menelik Watson in rd 1 and 2 respectively. If I’m Mark Davis, I’m knocking Reggie out with a brick if this happens, then firing him on the spot!

  7. Or this could be the Raiders trying to talk one of the teams in 1-4 into drafting him so the guy they really want is available at #5…

  8. Every single “Draft Expert” said JaMarcus Russell was a can’t miss #1 pick. Then when reality reared its ugly head everyone slammed Mr. Davis and the Raiders for the pick. If the Rams are looking at this guy at #2 just maybe the Raiders know a little something about drafting themselves.

  9. Hopefully the Raiders do take him so he is not around when the Giants pick.

    There are too many character issues around him, and I suspect that the Ann Arbor police probably cut him some slack as well over the years…

    Don’t want him anywhere near the Giants.

  10. This is simply a weak smoke screen.

    Everyone knows the Raiders will draft the fastest wide receiver still available with their first draft pick.

  11. I agree it’s not a sexy pick at #5, but Donald Penn isn’t the long-term answer at left tackle. I would rather they trade down to get him. If Clowney, Mack or Watkins isn’t available, I would trade down as many times as possible and grab a handful of quality players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

  12. I can easily see Lewan being the top tackle prospect. He is the best athlete of the three, has the most experience playing LT of the three, and the most vocal leadership qualities.

  13. It all comes down to talent, regardless of what is said. Character: Lewan verbally attacked a woman accusing his buddy Gibbons of rape, he gets arraigned on 3 assault charges in a month, was dirty player on the field, Captain on a team that had no chemistry, lynch pin on the worst OL in Michigan history…. but he has skills and amazing measurables. Don’t let em fool ya!

  14. McKenzie’s board probably looks a lot like every other guy that worked for Wolf and Thompson. I don’t expect him to be unconventional like Al was. As for Lewan, there are some dangerous pass rushers in the AFC West, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him end up in Oakland.

  15. Please NO….take the dt Arnold or trade down…hoping Mack on the board and trade with SF for ther #1, 2#2’s &2#3’s…we need depth

  16. The O line is the most important unit on the team. It protects the “you ain’t going to the playoffs if you don’t have a good QB”, it’s what makes any QB better, establishes a run game by taking the pressure off the passing game and rests the defense through out the game. The Raiders have Penn, a left tackle the Buccaneers did not want, Watson at right tackle, virtually untested and possibly injury prone. Drafting Lewan makes perfect sense and bringing up the Raider’s history of their failure to draft a viable left tackle makes no sense. The bad O line in Oakland is the biggest reason for their poor performance since their last Superbowl appearance, not the skill positions. Al Davis never figured that out. Lets face it, the the whinners are good because they recognize talent and how to build a team. When they needed to upgrade their O line, they used both picks in the first round to do it. Even when they needed better skill position players. You absolutely have to build the lines into playoff caliber before the skill positions otherwise you just putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

  17. I watched a LOT of Michigan games last year, and also the year before. This guy got burned quite a lot. I can’t see this as anything other than a smoke screen. Reggie is trying to bring in men with a good head on their shoulders, not a guy with a bad attitude, or a dirty player. Pass…

  18. Madden built from O line out, Davis from Corners in…Shades of John?
    The O line sucked last season, so just maybe it isnt smoke, and the Def FAs acquired frees up O line drafts, like Schaub took pressure off a 1st round QB pick.

  19. This is SMOKE and MIRRORS. I think every NFL team can see through this one right away. Raiders simply using some smoke here to set up possible trade down if they don’t get Watkins (or Mack). The likelihood that Robinson and Matthews are gone by #5 is good; thus, the Raiders are trying to gain footing in fooling those teams, like the Giants, who really need a LT, into giving up more in a trade down. Its that simple.

    The Raiders can clearly upgrade their very average OL in the second and third round this year, thus the need for extra picks in those rounds.

  20. “Lewan to the Raiders…” that is unless the best player in the draft, if you count “I want to play”, is available.

    Thus, the Raiders took Mack instead.

    They would have moved down had they wanted Lewan.

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