Photo via Tony Avelar – AP Photo
The Oakland Raiders have established one of the best offensive lines in the league led by Raiders tackle Donald Penn, guard Gabe Jackson, guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson.
Amazingly, the two Oakland guards went all of 2016 without giving up a quarterback sack, per Pro Football Focus. In addition, there were only two other players in the entire NFL who gave up zero sacks last season making the feat even more impressive.
The only starting guards not to allow a sack all last season pic.twitter.com/ayX3Z763Sr
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 5, 2017
Not mentioned above, but Penn didn’t give up a sack until Week 16 of the regular season. It seems that every player, except at right tackle, is a brick wall and no defensive player can get by, shown by the lack of sacks given up.
With Oakland making Raiders quarterback Derek Carr the highest paid player in NFL history, protecting the quarterback will become even more important.
Any wasted salary can not be tolerated going forward as Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, Carr and Jackson will be taking up a major portion of the cap. Therefore, all those guys must be healthy to have any future success.
Most importantly, the Raiders should be able to extend Carr’s career dramatically if this caliber of play from the offensive line continues. The play should not drop off as most of the guys on the offensive line, like Osemele and Jackson, are in the prime of their careers.