Draft outlook: Guard

This is one story in a series looking ahead to the NFL draft pertaining to the Oakland Raiders by position. Today, here's a look at offensive guard:

What the Raiders have: Oakland signed free agent Ron Stone away from the San Francisco 49ers to go along with holdovers Frank Middleton and Mo Collins. Middleton and Collins, however, were one of 13 players to finish last season on injured reserve.

Middleton and Collins had been the starting guard tandem for two seasons but it's understandable that Oakland signed Stone since both players have had difficulty staying healthy, especially Collins.

Oakland likely would not have signed a player of Stone's quality if it did not have intentions of making him a starter. Stone will probably start at one spot with either Collins or Middleton making up the other half of the guard tandem.

The Raiders lost Matt Stinchcomb, who signed with Tampa Bay, via free agency but re-signed Brad Badger. The latter is a versatile player capable of filling in at guard or tackle. Badger gained a lot of experience after Middleton and Collins were shelved.

What the Raiders might do: Since Oakland has needs that are far more pressing – it will probably leave this position as is.


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