Training camp outlook: Guards

One story in a series, looking at position breakdowns for the Oakland Raiders, who arrive for training camp in Napa, CA. Today – a look at offensive guards:

The Oakland Raiders got a good look at the present and future at this position as well as the offensive line as a whole.

With Frank Middleton and Ron Stone extremely limited with injury problems, Jake Grove and Brad Badger became a pretty solid guard tandem. Grove, whom the Raiders drafted in the second round last season, will now move to his more natural position – center.

Langston Walker is slated to move in to the starting left guard role. Walker began last season as the starting right tackle but Oakland moved Robert Gallery, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft, into that spot. Walker, who was a second round pick in 2002, has not started a full season but has enough ability to warrant a starter's role.

Badger is nine-year veteran who had been only an occasional starter until two years ago. Badger has started 23 of his last 32 games. Granted, Badger is no Pro Bowler but he has been a solid option at guard.

The Raiders released Middleton but re-signed Stone in what most people viewed as a curious move. Oakland appears to have pretty solid depth at this position with Stone, Corey Hulsey and Chad Slaughter.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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