Training camp outlook: Offensive guard

One story in a series looking at the Oakland Raiders, who arrive for training camp in Napa, CA, on July 29, by position. Today – here's a look at offensive guard:

The good news for the Oakland Raiders at this position is that last year's opening day starters, Mo Collins and Frank Middleton, appear to be healthy after injury plagued seasons. Both individuals ended their season as one of 13 players on injured reserve.

Neither player, however, is assured of a starting spot this season as both have stamina and durability issues. Collins has been the more strongly rumored of the two to be shown the door. Free agent pickup Ron Stone (San Francisco) and returnee Brad Badger figure to make a strong push for starting jobs along with incumbent left tackle Barry Sims.

The Raiders drafted Robert Gallery, who is expected to take over at left tackle, with the second overall pick in the draft. When Gallery demonstrates that he is ready to step in at left tackle, Sims could slide inside at guard.

Middleton and Collins should be more effective in an offense that features the power running game. Stone was a starting guard for San Francisco for a couple of years when it featured a solid ground game with Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow.

The earlier money on the two starters – let's say Stone and Middleton.


SB Report Top Stories