Assembling the offensive line is not as simple as picking the Pro Bowlers at the positions from the decade or choosing who played for us the longest. It is about finding the players and stories who embody what the Raiders were during the 2010s.
It is about finding the hoggies who were nasty players and great Raiders during a time when the rest of the team was largely inconsistent. Despite all the Raiders struggles, they developed and signed a few offensive linemen that were really the hearts of the teams they played on.
Left Tackle – Jared Veldheer
Donald Penn played left tackle for the Raiders for four seasons before the drafted Kolton Miller who has started the better part of the last two seasons of the decade. Penn filled in for Miller and played swing tackle in his fifth and final year with the Raiders. You could make a case for him here.
However, it is easy to forget how good Veldheer was in his first four seasons as a starter with the Raiders. The virtually unknown third-round pick bounced around the league since because he battled with injuries. However, he was the anchor of our o-line for three good seasons before he cashed out with the Broncos. Homegrown talent gets the edge here.
Left Guard – Stefan Wiesniewski
It’s hard to not place Kelechi Osemele here. K.O. was one of the best players at his position for two of the three seasons he played in Oakland. The Raiders cashed out the versatile offensive linemen from Baltimore.
Again, Wiesniewski was homegrown talent who started four seasons for the Raiders. His first season was at left guard. He was one of Al Davis’ final draft picks and his uncle was a Silver and Black legend too. The Wiz Kid never turned out into the Pro Bowler we hoped but he has been a solid player bouncing around the league. He won a ring with the Eagles a few seasons ago too.
Center – Rodney Hudson
Hudson has been everything as advertised since Day One. He has been one of the best players at his position each of the five seasons he has been here. Hudson came over from the Chiefs as a marquee free agency acquisition and instantly anchored the o-line between Jackson and event Osemele. Now, he holds it down with Jackson and Incognito. Hudson is one of the few consistent players the Raiders have had across the entire decade.
Right Guard – Gabe Jackson
Homegrown from the 2014 draft class, Gabe Jackson started his career at right guard. Two years later he swung to the right guard spot where he has held it down. Jackson has yet to take the next step into elite but he is still pretty solid. He has only missed a handful of games over his entire career too. His play might be declining or apexed but he is still solid and definitely one of our better offensive linemen this decade.
Right Tackle – Donald Penn
Let’;s be honest. The Raiders right tackle position was a mess and a revolving door at best. Khalif Barnes, JaMarcus Webb, Manelik Watson, Austin Howard, Brandon Parker and more tired to hold down this spot. I also said Osemele could’ve started there, but they never tried that. Nonetheless, right tackle was always oddly inconsistent and filled with false hope.
That is why I am moving Penn from the left side to the right side for the all-decade team. Penn played some right tackle last year in Gruden’s return. Penn was found on Tampa Bay’s scrap heap. Still, he figured out his weight and held down the Raiders left side for almost half the decade. He was dominant at times and embodied the physicality the Raiders wanted. The West Coast native was a perfect fit minus the time he got beat by Trent Cole or tried to call out a fan.