If you were to ask me 24 hours ago who the starting tight end for the Oakland Raiders would be on week one, I would have said David Ausberry. Well, times have definitely changed for the Raiders, as star left tackle Jared Veldheer has gone down with torn triceps. All indications are that Veldheer will miss at least half the season because of his injury. The former wide receiver Ausberry was the second most disappointed man behind Veldheer when the injury news came down yesterday. There is no way that the Raiders could survive with the horrendous blocker Ausberry helping to protect Matt Flynn’s blindside.
Rookie Nick Kasa will be the perfect solution to the Raiders blocking woes. Kasa was actually a defensive lineman during the beginning of his career at Colorado. However, he converted to tight end his junior year. The 6’6 265 pound Kasa will bring the ferociousness of a defensive lineman to the tight end position. Kasa will be able to assist both subpar offensive tackles Khalif Barnes and Alex Barron as a pass blocker and help open hole for the trio of Raiders running backs.
With the Raiders reverting back to a power run blocking scheme Kasa would fit in perfectly. New offensive coordinator Greg Olsen wants to make the running game the focal point of the offense so the Raiders will need some nastiness upfront. While Kasa won’t be anywhere near Ausberry as a receiver, he has shown that he has great hands at training camp. Friday’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints will be vitally important for Nick Kasa to prove he should be the starter.
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