For the past couple of years, the Raiders have had only one question mark on the offensive line: right tackle.
On Thursday night, Oakland took care of that, drafting UCLA’s Kolton Miller with their first-round pick.
Miller would slip into a line that already boasts Donald Penn at left tackle, Kelechi Osemele at right guard, Rodney Hudson at center and Gabe Jackson at right guard. Potentially, if Miller – a very athletic, 6-foot-9, 309-pounder – plays the way the Raiders must believe he can, Oakland would have a terrific line for new head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr.
Right tackle has been a revolving door for the Raiders in recent seasons because of injuries and subpar play.
The Raiders took Miller with the 15th pick in the first round, having moved down from the 10th spot in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, who took UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. For moving down, the Raiders also picked up a third- and fifth-round choice.
But Miller’s selection was a bit of a surprise because there were much higher-rated players still available, especially at linebacker and in the secondary.
Former NFL GM Charley Casserly, speaking on the NFL Network, said he had Miller rated as a second-round selection.
“They went for need and in the long run, that doesn’t help you,” said Casserly, who suggested the Raiders should have taken the best player available, such as defensive back Derwin James or linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, whom he had ranked as the No. 1 linebacker in the draft.
At UCLA, Miller played left tackle in 2017, protecting the blind side of Rosen. He’s reported to have good quickness, and the Raiders certainly need solid tackle play in the AFC West, where teams such as the Broncos and Chargers have several outstanding edge rushers.