A week after rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden delivered a hit for the first time in nine months rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson will make his debut starting on the left side in Seattle in Thursday's preseason finale. Watson who missed all but one day of training camp with a calf injury played only 19 games in college and all were on the right side. In fact the second-round pick said he has not played on the more important left side - Terrelle Pryor's blind side. "I'm the type of person if you tell me to do something I'm just going to do it" the 6-foot-5 315-pound Englishman said. Great enthusiasm. But a left tackle with no game experience and only three total NFL practices (one in pads) has to be a bit of a red flag to head coach Dennis Allen doesn't it? "Well obviously that's something you've got to consider" Allen said "but again when you look at where we took this guy and you look at the roster and you look at his potential I feel like that's the right thing to do. "Put him over there and see how he does in the game. We won't know until we put him in a game and get a chance to evaluate him. We haven't had that opportunity yet." Watson replaces Alex Barron who excited the coaches as a swing backup tackle but not so much as a starting left tackle after Jared Veldheer tore his left triceps. Barron struggled with his pass-blocking and then his run-blocking in his two preseason starts. Even if the Seattle starters don't play much the Seahawks are very deep and will provide Watson with a tough test. "Seattle is very talented up front" Allen said. "They've got a lot of speed that comes off the edges. It's a great opportunity for us to get a good evaluation to see where he's at."
Watson's debut with Raiders is at left tackle
San Francisco Chronicle | Aug 27