In today’s NFL, you can never be too prudent when it comes to making sure your quarterback has a clean pocket to operate in.
Derek Carr has had that for some time playing behind the kind of offensive lines with which the Las Vegas Raiders have provided him.
With the makeover the Raiders O-line has seen this offseason, there’s more uncertainty there than there has ever been in Carr’s career.
If the Raiders still want to look for more potential starters in the draft, Ben Cleveland of Georgia could fit in quite well.
The former bulldog is built like a truck at 6-6 and 335 pounds, giving him the ability to bully defenders with his raw power.
Cleveland has good quickness to go along with his size, which gives him the ability to play in any system.
As a pass protector, his numbers show him to be one of the best in college football.
Over the past three years, Cleveland has given up only 13 quarterback pressures on 606 pass-blocking snaps.
That includes giving up no sacks during that time, a big reason he was ranked inside the top 25 guards in college football the last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.
Cleveland can have a hard time blocking on the move, though, and he can get caught trying to deliver a big blow instead of actually sustaining a block.
He also has only one full season as a starter and has dealt with injuries in the past.
Still, Cleveland’s size and ability to hold up well in pass protection should get him plenty of looks.
There might be more versatile players or ones who have better upside athletically, but what Cleveland can do he does well.
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