The Oakland Raiders made a move to address their offensive line issues, taking Hillsdale College offensive tackle Jared Veldheer in the third round of the NFL draft, 69th overall.
Despite a solid career that included 36 consecutive starts, Veldheer flew under the radar of most NFL scouts because he played at a Division II school. Hillsdale College is part of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Veldheer first made a name for himself after a strong showing at the Texas vs. The Nation game. However, it was at the NFL Combine that Veldheer really impressed, posting great numbers and performing very well in the lineman drills. At 6-8 and 312-lbs., Veldheer ran one of the fastest 40-yard dashes for offensive linemen, clocking in at 5.09 seconds. Veldheer also put up 32 repetitions in the bench press, and he was considered second only to Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell in terms of overall performance.
Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable was very vocal about the team's need for offensive linemen. However, he acknowledged the fact that this year's draft was deep in talent and that he felt the team could address those needs in the later rounds.
Many people expected the Raiders to take Bruce Campbell with the eighth overall pick, but midway through the third round, Campbell is still available.
Veldheer is listed as an offensive tackle, and he will immediately challenge for both the left and right side. Former right tackle Cornell Green signed with the Buffalo Bills during the offseason, and the team resigned Khalif Barnes for another year. Current left tackle Mario Henderson has done an admirable job, but the team is still looking to upgrade at the position.
The Raiders are looking to add another lineman through the draft, perhaps another tackle, but preferably a guard or center.
Veldheer's the Pick for the Raiders
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