Starting Menelik Watson is the only choice

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
1:50
PM ET
As we wait for the Raiders to make the final cuts, here are some random thoughts on the team:

It was no shock at all that Menelik Watson is going to start at left tackle at Indianapolis. What else were the Raiders going to do?

Alex Barron? Come on.

Still, it would be na´ve to expect Watson to have a seamless transition to playing left tackle in the NFL. He played there for the first time in his life Thursday night. He is extremely green as a football player to begin with. But make no mistake: The second-round draft pick is immensely talented. I believe he is going to be a fine player. The fact that he didn’t embarrass himself against the Seahawks is a good sign.

But expect some growing pains. Top-level defensive ends may have their way with Watson in the early going. When Jared Veldheer returns from a triceps injury later in the season, expect Watson to move over to right tackle. The Raiders will eventually have a solid pair of bookend tackles.

Second-year guard Tony Bergstrom appears to have a serious foot injury. It may be another lost season for Reggie McKenzie’s first draft pick. The fact that Bergstrom is hurt and Mike Brisiel played well Thursday should keep Brisiel on the roster.

It sounds like Andre Carter may be on the bubble. If Carter is cut it will mean he is done. The Raiders are desperate for pass-rush help. He’ll be kept if the team thinks he has anything left.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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