Josh McDaniels: Raiders OT Thayer Munford Jr. made ‘some progress’ in his start vs. Vikings

·2 min read

Does offensive tackle Thayer Munford Jr., a seventh-round pick from this year’s NFL Draft, actually have a chance to start for the Raiders this season?

The notion seems a tad crazy — until you look at the Raiders’ situation at right tackle.

Veteran OT Brandon Parker is injured and had a shaky performance in the Hall of Fame Game. Alex Leatherwood, last year’s first-round pick and part-time starter at right tackle, is apparently falling down the depth chart, given he didn’t play until the third quarter of Las Vegas’ win against the Vikings on Sunday.

Instead, it was Munford that played the entire first half at right tackle, after Leatherwood started there at the Hall of Fame Game.

So how did Munford perform? Reporters asked coach Josh McDaniels before Raiders practice on Monday, and here’s a portion of what he said.

“I thought, generally speaking, (Munford) acquitted well for himself and did some things he’s been doing on the practice field,” McDaniels said. “It was good to see some of that stuff carry over to the game.

“Obviously, a lot of rookies on the field yesterday. A lot of them with things they’re going to learn from today and when we watch the film. But generally speaking, I think there was some progress.”

McDaniels also painted a rosy picture of the entire offensive line, which is a potential weak spot for Las Vegas. McDaniels said the unit was “headed in the right direction,” though there are still things they “can do better as a group.”

As for Munford, McDaniels was reserved in his answer, but at right tackle, progress is a good thing for any potential starter. The Raiders coaching staff seems confident it can teach any physically-talented lineman to block in their scheme. That was apparent when Las Vegas re-signed Parker, despite his struggles last season.

Munford played college football at perennial powerhouse Ohio State, so he clearly has talent.

But it was just one start during the preseason for Munford. The real answers will lie in the weeks ahead, as the Raiders have several important decisions to make about who will block for quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Davante Adams, and a host of other playmakers.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire