When starting left tackle Jared Veldheer went down with a torn triceps, Raiders Nation let out a collective gasp as Veldheer was one of the few players the Oakland Raiders had no worries about. The good news for the Raiders was that they had a former first-round draft pick to replace Veldheer. The bad news is that first round pick is Alex Barron.
Barron seems very excited for the opportunity that has been placed in front of him, but if you ask former St. Louis Rams GM Billy Devaney, there is only one thing Barron is excited about:
“He’s got the skill to play. He does not have the heart to play football. He does not like anything about the game except getting paid.”
Devaney traded away Barron, a 2005 first round pick of the Rams, in 2010. Barron has yet to impress in time spent with the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints and now he has one more chance to prove himself with the Raiders.
There is no doubting the size and skill of Barron, but not having the heart, especially when you play a down and dirty position like offensive tackle, is very disconcerting. Add in a quarterback who has never been a full-time starter and you have reason to worry if you’re the Raiders.
Barron has made more than $10 million in his career so far, so he has succeeded in getting paid if that really was the goal, as Devaney said. But seeing as how Devaney also drafted Tackle Jason Smith, who has had similar accusations thrown his way, second overall with the Rams in 2009, Devaney may not be the best judge of character.