Raiders have dinner with NFL prospect

The Oakland Raiders, armed with a new coach and a new way of thinking, are moving quickly to determine what direction they will take with their picks in the NFL Draft. The process began on Wednesday in Indianapolis when the team met with a prospect over dinner. and has confirmed that Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas sat down for a formal meeting with the Oakland Raiders. The 6-foot-6, 311-pound behemoth is widely considered the top left tackle prospect on the NFL Draft board and will be a consideration for the Raiders – even with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Ideally, Oakland would prefer to trade down two or three spots and pick up Thomas, netting the extra picks to help a team that has a number of areas that need improvement.

Thomas tore a ligament in his knee last year while playing defensive end – that's right, defensive end. He came back and had another strong season for the Badgers in 2006.

The Raiders could use a man of his talents along the line, moving Robert Gallery back to right tackle. Thomas is considered a strong run blocker and a developing pass protector that could be a cornerstone for a franchise.

He is a player that will be in high demand at the top of the NFL Draft board, already meeting with Detroit and Cleveland.

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