Oakland Raiders LT Jared Veldheer: The Steal of the 2010 NFL Draft?

Heading into the 2010 NFL Draft, one of the biggest weaknesses the Raiders needed to address was the offensive line.  Most believed that they would draft the best available offensive lineman with the eighth overall pick. 

There were a few players worthy of the pick, but with Russell Okung and Trent Williams off the board, the Raiders decided to go defense and drafted LB Rolando McClain.

The second round came and there weren't many offensive lineman worthy of selecting that high in the second round other than Zane Beadles.  Some draft experts, like Mel Kiper Jr., thought for sure the Raiders should take Jimmy Clausen, but Tom Cable had other things in mind. 

The Raiders used their second-round pick on DT Lamaar Houston out of Texas.  The 300-pounder was then converted to DE where he is having a solid rookie season.

That brings us to the third round, where I believe the Raiders found the steal of the 2010 NFL Draft.  With the 69th overall pick the Raiders drafted LT Jared Veldheer out of tiny Hillsdale College.

The 6'8", 315-pound Veldheer was a dominant force at Hillsdale.  He just needed to prove himself against a tougher level of talent. 

He came on strong during training camp and by the end of preseason he was given a starting position.  He was named the starting center over Samson Satele. 

The experiment at center lasted just one regular season game.  Maybe playing a 6'8" rookie at C isn't the best idea considering he hadn't played the position since high school.

In the second game of the season he began rotating with Mario Henderson at LT.  The rotation at LT continued for a few games and Veldheer began getting more snaps. 

He eventually was named the full time starting LT and it has been paying off.  Veldheer along with Robert Gallery have formed into a very strong left side.&...

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