Right offensive tackle was a problem position for the Raiders in 2018.
Veteran Donald Penn was moved from the left side to right tackle and struggled in his four games there before he was lost to injury. He gave up three sacks in his four starts. Rookie Brandon Parker then took over and allowed 8½ sacks in 12 starts, while also being called for holding three times.
It was part of the Raiders’ pass-blocking nightmare in 2018, when starting quarterback Derek Carr was sacked 51 times.
But there’s plenty of evidence to believe the addition of free-agent Trent Brown at right tackle will give that position a stability it hasn’t had in a long while.
Brown played left tackle for the New England Patriots in 2018 – and was excellent in the Patriots’ run through the playoffs to a Super Bowl victory – but actually played much better as a right tackle in his three previous seasons with the 49ers.
Over 28 starts from 2015-2017 at right tackle, Brown allowed just 5½ sacks and was called for holding just twice.
And, the analytic website Pro Football Focus noted that Brown’s performance grade at right tackle in 2017 with the 49ers was 73.0, better than the 71.0 mark he had in 2018 with New England.
So, said William Moy of Pro Football Focus, Brown moving back to the right side could be a huge plus for the Raiders.
“During that three-year window (playing right tackle for the 49ers), Brown ranked seventh among qualifying right tackles by surrendering pressure on just 5.6 percent of his pass-blocking snaps, and he was one of just five players to log at least 1,000 pass-blocking snaps at right tackle and surrender no more than seven sacks,” wrote Moy.
Brown has told the Raiders he’s happy moving back to the right side.
“I knew they were going to put me where they needed me,” Brown said in May, during organized team activities.