Vadal Alexander, a former 7th round draft pick, tests positive for performance enhancing drugs and will miss the first four weeks of the 2018 season.
Oakland Raiders Tackle Vadal Alexander was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. He will be eligible to return by October 1st.
But will be be on the Raiders roster at that point is the question.
With Oakland having drafted two offensive tackles, Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker, in their first three draft picks, it puts Alexander’s future with Raiders in jeopardy. Head coach Jon Gruden hinted fellow tackle Denver Kirkland was a better player at right tackle last month at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando.
Alexander was given the opportunity to keep the Raiders starting right tackle last season, but was unable to beat out veteran tackle Marshall Newhouse for the position. With this latest news, it is very possible that the Raiders move on from Alexander.
Of note: the Raiders do not have to make that decision right away. He is allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and workouts. Oakland could decide to wait it out and see if Alexander is able to pick up his play and actually compete for a starting role during camp.
Based on his performance last year, and this latest off-the-field stain, he is living on borrowed time. That is, if the Raiders do not actually waive him in the coming weeks.
It certainly shines more light onto the thinking of general manager Reggie McKenzie and Gruden’s thinking during this year’s draft. It is definitely something to keep a close eye on going forward. Either way, selecting two tackles early in the 2018 NFL Draft is looking smarter each and every day.