The Oakland Raiders selected UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Position: Offensive tackle
Weight: 309 pounds
Selection: First round (No. 15 overall)
Scouting report: The former Bruin’s built like an NFL offensive tackle, with the agility and length to be a top-tier player. Analysts say he’s a hard worker who puts maximum effort into every snap. He has solid footwork already, with the agility to handle savvy pass rushers. He didn’t have a great year in 2017, but fared well during the pre-draft process. The Raiders like this prospect, especially offensive line coach Tom Cable. He needs to improve work with his hands, and is sometimes susceptible to power rushers.
Projected role: The Raiders need help in the present and future. He should compete to start at right tackle as a rookie, with a long-term move to the left. Current blindside protector Donald Penn is 35 years old, coming off of Lisfranc foot surgery this offseason. He’s under contract through 2019, though he doesn’t have guaranteed money in that final year. Miller will compete with veteran Breno Giacomini to start on the right side in 2018, which would help the offensive line’s weakest point. The move makes strong fiscal sense, assuming Miller can man a left tackle spot that pays veterans a premium.