One of the most interesting stories in Oakland Raiders training camp is who will win the battle to become the starting left guard.
Two second-year players, Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix, will fight it out in Napa to become the starter. On paper, Bergstrom has the advantage because he was Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie’s first draft pick as a general manager (in the third round, mind you). Last year’s undrafted free agent Nix impressed the Raiders’ brass enough to keep him on the roster and in the competition to start this year.
Last year, Bergstrom barely got to see the field and was penciled in as both a backup guard and tackle. Unfortunately, he was picked because he was arguably one of the best zone-blocking offensive lineman in the draft last year. With the Raiders reverting back to a power run-blocking scheme, it remains to be seen if Bergstrom can adjust.
During the beginning of mini-camp, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen surprised many by starting Nix at left guard. While this might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, it seems that Allen prefers Nix over Bergstrom. Nix fits the mold of a power run blocker as he was a mauler in college.
The battle between Bergstrom and Nix is one of the few areas of the team where Allen and McKenzie disagree. During the offseason, McKenzie expressed some frustration over Bergstrom not seeing the field, while Allen has shown that he prefers Nix as a power run blocker.
Only time will tell which second-year player will win the starting job, but for now, it is one of the most interesting storylines for the Raiders heading into training camp.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras