Vontaze Burfict Jersey

The Oakland Raiders have been one of the more active teams during the 2019 offseason, and in 2020, they could be just as busy as they were this year.

When the Oakland Raiders picked Mike Mayock to be their next general manager, they were looking for a guy who could come in and make big changes within the organization. Mayock, a former NFL draft analyst, wasted no time getting his feet wet in his first stint as a GM, trading with the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Antonio Brown.

For Brown, Mayock only had to send back a third and fifth round pick, a deal that was considered a fleecing by many. You see, Pittsburgh was originally looking for two first round picks for Brown, who has hauled in at least 100 receptions in six straight seasons.

From there, Mayock began adding talent via free agency, bringing in guys like Tyrell Williams, Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner, Vontaze Burfict, and Brandon Marshall. The rookie GM has completely revamped this roster, and while he was very busy this offseason, he may end up being even busier next offseason.

Of the 90 players on their current roster, 43 of them will be some kind of free agent next year, including some of the best players on the roster.

Center Rodney Hudson is the best in the game at his position, and we have already gotten into why re-signing him is priority No. 1 next offseason. Hudson has been to two Pro Bowls in the Silver and Black, and should have gone to a third last season, as he is the absolute cornerstone of this Raiders offensive line.

In addition to Hudson, three key members of their secondary are also entering free agency, including Daryl Worley, Karl Joseph, and Nevin Lawson. With the addition of Johnathan Abram via the 2019 NFL Draft, Joseph may be deemed expendable next offseason, while Worley and Lawson will be battling for a starting job in 2019.
Many of the free agent signings the Raiders inked this offseason are one-year deals, so they will definitely need to prove their worth this upcoming season. The tandem of Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have done a nice job building up this roster this offseason, but it looks like it will be back to the drawing board next offseason as well.

Now, the No. 43 seems like a big number, but when you really look at the list, there are a ton of guys who will likely not make the team this summer. It will be interesting to revisit this list after the preseason ends, and the regular season games kick off on September 9.

Oakland opens up their 2019 NFL season against AFC West rival Denver at home on Monday Night Football, in what is likely their last season in the Bay Area.
In addition to all the personnel moves the Raiders will have to handle, they will also be moving, as the 2020 season will be their first as the Las Vegas Raiders. The next 12 months are going to be extremely busy for this franchise, as they look to see what they have for the next era of Raiders football.

Lee Smith Jersey

The Buffalo Bills added even more competition to their roster at tight end Monday by signing Lee Smith to a three-year contract.

Tight end Lee Smith celebrates a touchdown catch in a 2012 game. Smith was re-signed by the team Monday after four years with the Oakland Raiders. {James P. McCoy/Buffalo News}

The deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is worth up to $9 million.
Smith, 31, returns to the Bills after previously spending four seasons with the team from 2011-14. He most recently was with the Oakland Raiders for four years. Smith has played in 107 career NFL games with 66 starts, making 56 catches for 392 yards and seven touchdowns.

As those numbers suggest, Smith’s primary role for most of his career has been as a blocker. The analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked him seventh in its positional grading for 2018. That included a run-blocking grade of 70.9 that ranked 17th overall. In 61 pass-blocking snaps, he was charged with allowing one sack and two quarterback hurries. Smith was used more by the Raiders as a run blocker, playing 176 snaps in that role in 2018.

His addition gives the Bills six tight ends on the 90-man roster, as he joins Tyler Kroft, Jason Croom, Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney and Moral Stephens, who participated in this past weekend’s rookie minicamp and signed Monday. The size of his contract makes it a good bet Smith will be on the Bills’ 53-man roster. Kroft, who signed a three-year deal at the start of free agency, is scheduled to count nearly $5 million against the 2019 salary cap, so he also is a safe bet to make the team. The same goes for Knox, whom the Bills acquired in the third round of last month’s NFL draft by trading a pair of fourth-round draft picks to move up.

After signing Smith and Stephens, the team eased the logjam at the positions some by releasing tight end Jake Fisher, who was signed earlier this offseason. Fisher, who last played for the Cincinnati Bengals, was a converted left tackle attempting to make a position switch.

The question for the Bills now becomes whether they keep three or four tight ends on the 53-man roster. If it’s four, the last spot likely will come down to Sweeney, who was a seventh-round draft pick, and Croom, who played in 15 games last season, making 22 catches for 259 yards and one touchdown.

In addition to Stephens, the Bills announced they have signed three more players who participated in rookie minicamp on a tryout basis: UAB defensive tackle Quindarius Thagard, East Carolina offensive lineman Garrett McGhin and West Alabama safety Abraham Wallace.

Stephens, 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, played in college at Florida, finishing with 15 catches for 261 yards and three touchdowns for the Gators.

Thagard, 6-2 and 287 pounds, started for two years at UAB, making 61 tackles, four sacks and one pass defensed.

Wallace (5-10, 192) started his college career at LSU for two seasons, then spent one year with Texas Tech in 2017 before playing his final year with West Alabama. He had 60 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one-half sack.

McGhin (6-6, 316) was a three-year starter for East Carolina. He played guard, center and tackle in his college career, displaying the versatility coach Sean McDermott likes in his players. The Bills used McGhin at right tackle during rookie minicamp.
The Bills also released running back Keith Ford. They now have the maximum 90 players on their roster, 91 when counting International signing Christian Wade, who is given an exemption.

Quinton Bell Jersey

It was no secret entering the NFL Draft that the Oakland Raiders biggest need was accumulating pass rushers. With that being said, they grabbed three of them during the draft. But, what kind of productivity can Quinton Bell bring to the Raiders?

After the Oakland Raiders had already added two edge rushers (Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby) before entering the seventh-round, they had many options available for their final pick of the draft. Despite getting some help off the edge early, they added a third one to the group by drafting Quinton Bell out of Prairie View A&M with the 230 overall pick.
Bell certainly is what you call a “project in the making”. He doesn’t have much experience rushing the passer, as he’s a converted wide receiver. He attended a small school, which doesn’t resonate on many teams radars. At Prairie View A&M he finished his 2018 season with 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 3 quarterback hurries.

His numbers provide decent production, but nothing to write home about. The thing that makes him such an intriguing prospect isn’t his statistics, but it’s his measurables and how he projects in the near future.

Bell is a freak of nature in the weight room, and tested extraordinary well at his pro-day.
It’s certain that Bell is a freak athlete, now the transformation is going to be how the Raiders coaching staff can guide him into being a productive edge rusher in the NFL. According to the Raiders updated roster, Bell has bulked up and is now listed at 253 pounds. That very well could be a positive for the Raiders, because they ran into some issues last season with Arden Key, when he couldn’t get any push off of the line due to his smaller frame and weight.
It was Bell’s 40-yard dash that kept him on the Raiders radar with his 4.38 official time. If Bell would have been invited to the yearly NFL combine he would have recorded the fastest 40-yard dash among all edge rushers, putting him just ahead of Montez Sweat’s 4.41.

Ultimately the Raiders are getting a prospect with raw ability, who’s going to need time developing. Bell will probably only see limited action this season, being used in passing situations primarily.

If the Raiders want to hang onto him, but don’t have the room on the final 53-man roster they might have to be careful storing him on the practice squad. By doing so, other teams might take notice and look to scoop him up of the Raiders practice squad if he shows enough flash in the mean time.

This might make it apparent, that the Raiders have to make room on the roster for Bell if they want to keep him around. I’d look for Bell to eventually break camp on the final roster and rotate off the edge in his rookie season.

Hunter Renfrow Jersey

From 2014 to 2017, no quarterback in the NFL suffered more dropped passes by his receivers than the Raiders’ Derek Carr.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow makes a reception during NFL football practice on ...

Upon Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland, he set out to address that ugly stat. He sent away the most egregious of droppers, and brought in several new receivers, most notably Jordy Nelson. The overhaul brought about moderate improvement, as the Raiders tied for the seventh-most drops in the NFL in 2018 with 22, after dropping 38 passes the year prior and a whopping 45 drops in 2016.

Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement remaining in that category, and Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have approached the current offseason with that in mind.

First, they traded for Antonio Brown, arguably the top receiver in the league with as good of hands as you’ll find.

They followed that up with the signing of Tyrell Williams, an accomplished receiver in his own right that has the size and athleticism to make tough catches look simple.

And, then, in the fifth round of the draft, they selected a 5-foot-9 receiver with the No. 149 overall pick, who had the smallest hands of any pass-catcher at the NFL Combine.

Wait, what?

Not to worry, Raiders fans. Hunter Renfrow has made a habit of playing bigger than he appears.

The same receiver who caught 10 passes for 92 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the 2016 National Championship Game against Alabama, who began at Clemson as a walk-on, has “the best hands of anyone in this entire draft,” according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.

Over his final two seasons at Clemson, Renfrow was targeted 143 times. He dropped two of those passes.

Renfrow also caught 66.7 percent of his contested targets in the last two seasons, ranking fourth in the FBS, according to Pro Football Focus.

So how does a diminutive receiver with relatively tiny hands rise from walk-on to NFL draft pick? It starts with the parents, naturally.

Renfrow’s father, Tim, was his football coach at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. But that’s not where Hunter gets his great hands from, according to the man himself.

“I like to credit my mom,” Renfrow said with a smile Friday at the opening of rookie minicamp. “My dad was my high school coach, but my mom would go out there and throw footballs to me, and they were never accurate. They were up here, they were down there, I’d have to be diving everywhere.”

The vast majority of Renfrow’s college receptions came out of the slot. That’s where his expertise lies, but now with the Raiders, he could be asked to line up elsewhere occasionally.

“The big thing for Hunter is that he needs to understand we’re going to move Antonio Brown around a lot,” Gruden said Friday. “If we move Brown a lot, that means he has to be able to move around and do a lot of things. Not just line and be a slot receiver every single down. He could move to the right or left, play inside or outside. He’ll have to do it all.”

Renfrow, to his credit, isn’t daunted by that possibility. While he’s definitely comfortable in the slot, he doesn’t view himself as a specialist.

“Kind of my whole thing is, I’m a receiver,” Renfrow said. “I’m not a slot receiver, I’m not an outside receiver, I’m just a receiver. It’s kind of like playing in the backyard. You’re just expected to go catch a football, and that’s kind of the mentality that I have.”

It’s a good thing Renfrow isn’t intimidated by a challenge, because he’s about to enter a stiff competition.
In addition to Brown and Williams, both Dwayne Harris and free-agent signee Ryan Grant would seem to be locks to make the 53-man roster as receivers. That likely leaves two remaining spots for Renfrow, J.J. Nelson, Marcell Ateman and undrafted free agent Keelan Doss. While the Raiders invested a fifth-round pick in Renfrow, he’ll have to put that versatility on display in order to lock one down.

So, how does Renfrow plan to separate himself from the pack? The answer lies in playing to his strengths.

“I’m not the biggest guy, I’m not the fastest,” Renfrow admitted. “But I feel like I can outthink people at times. I think that’s such a big part of the game that people don’t realize. I mean, you gotta be able to play, definitely, but you can outthink people, outwork people. And a guy who knows what he’s going to do before he does it is a lot more dangerous than a guy who’s out there big and fast, but has no clue what’s going on.”

Renfrow’s relative size and speed disadvantages will only be exacerbated with the move to the NFL, but then again, he’s already proven he has the ability to adjust. After being a two-star recruit coming out of high school, with scholarship offers from football powerhouses Appalachian State, Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian, and Wofford, Renfrow departed Clemson with the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the top college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

As the Raiders remain intent on eliminating drops and with Renfrow now in tow, it appears they couldn’t be in better hands.

Foster Moreau Jersey

Former LSU tight end Foster Moreau has signed his rookie contract to start his NFL career.

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Moreau signed a four-year contract for just over $3 million with the Oakland Raiders, according to OverTheCap, which comes out to an annual payment of $752,096. The deal included a $488,484 signing bonus.

The news was also reported by SiriusXM’s Adam Kaplan.
Moreau, a New Orleans native and Jesuit graduate, was selected by the Raiders No. 137 overall in the fourth round of the NFL draft, and he became the first drafted tight end in the Ed Orgeron era and the first LSU tight end selected since the Carolina Panthers took Keith Zinger in the seventh round in 2008.
Moreau, who wore LSU’s honorary No. 18 jersey during his senior year, recorded 52 catches, 629 yards and six touchdowns in his college career — a total that fell short of most single-season numbers recorded by the eight tight ends who were drafted before him.

But Moreau had an impressive Senior Bowl, NFL combine and pro day, and the Raiders made Moreau the highest-selected LSU tight end since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Harold Bishop in the third round, No. 69 overall.
Moreau had a feeling he might go to Oakland. He said he’d gone to dinner with Oakland tight ends coach Frank Smith at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January.

“I fell in love with the way he coached and how he addressed the game, and what he does for his players and how he coaches,” said Moreau, who was among five players that were named “Practice Players of the Week” at the Senior Bowl. “It’s funny. I kept up with him throughout the whole process… I kinda hoped this’d happen.”

The Raiders are in the middle of a rebuild, and the team is scheduled to move to Las Vegas after the 2019 season. Their coach, Jon Gruden, left the broadcast booth last year to lead the franchise that once traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (he and the Bucs beat the Raiders in Super Bowl 37 the following season).

The Raiders went 4-12 in their first year under Gruden, who stockpiled additional draft picks by trading star players Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. Veteran tight end Jared Cook, the team’s leading receiver last year with 896 yards and six touchdowns, left a void when he signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract with the New Orleans Saints.

Isaiah Johnson Jersey

The Oakland Raiders have signed fourth-round draft pick CB Isaiah Johnson, the club announced Thursday.

Cornerback Isaiah Johnson signs a contract with the Oakland Raiders in Alameda, Calif., Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the Oakland Raiders Practice Facility.

Johnson was selected 129th overall by the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was a four-year letterman at Houston, appearing in 45 games at Houston from 2015-18. After joining the Cougars as a wide receiver his freshman year, Johnson converted to cornerback following his sophomore season and appeared in 23 games and made 15 starts over his final two seasons, totaling 115 tackles (88 solo), four interceptions and 16 passes defensed.

In 2018, the 6-foot-2, 208-pounder started 10 games, totaling 66 tackles (50), two interceptions and a team-leading seven passes defensed. Before converting to cornerback, the native of Bryan, Texas, played in 22 contests and totaled 21 receptions for 208 yards (9.9 avg.) over his first two seasons as a wide receiver with the squad.

Maxx Crosby Jersey

With so little depth at the defensive end position, Raiders fans were scratching their heads wondering why the Raiders weren’t more aggressive addressing the position in free agency. It meant they were sure to hit the position hard in the draft selecting Clelin Ferrell with the 4th overall pick and then nabbing Eastern Michigan DE Maxx Crosby with their first pick in the 4th round.

Crosby was relatively unknown in the pre-draft process but posted enough production in 3 years of college football (41 tackles for loss, 20.0 sacks, 8 forced fumbles) to earn a Combine invite. Crosby proved he belonged in the NFL with an outstanding show in athletic testing, running a 4.66 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical, and 6.89 3-cone drill (tied for best at the DE position).

At 6’5’’ 255lbs Crosby is the size-speed player that Raiders fans associate with the Silver & Black. Crosby isn’t a finished product yet, but his college film shows an exciting player who has the potential to make an impact in the NFL.
Effort

Crosby has great football character, meaning he has a nasty demeanor on the field and hustles to make every play he possibly can. His motor and effort are readily apparent when watching him play.
The pass rush rep above against Purdue shows Crosby isn’t content to do his job and expect someone else make the play when it gets away from him. He runs down the quarterback trying to escape the pocket and keeps this scramble to a manageable gain for the defense.
Many defensive ends will do their responsibility when the run comes to their side but its rare to see one chase the play when it goes the opposite way. Crosby stays disciplined with his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage reading the hand-off ready to take the quarterback on a zone read. When the running back takes the ball and sprints in the opposite direction, Crosby shows off that 4.6 speed and chases him down for the tackle.

Probably one of the most fun plays in Crosby’s tape and shows the attitude he brings to the football field. Instead of going for a simple tackle, Crosby takes it a step further and violently punches the football out of the ball carrier’s hands. Violence, motor, effort, attitude, Crosby brings it all as a defensive end.
Run defense

Against the run Crosby has room for improvement, namely getting stronger at the point of attack. He has the athleticism to make plays however but shouldn’t be asked to play base end in year one.

Crosby does a great job steering the tight end with his arms locked out and forcing the blocker into the backfield. He disengages at the right time to catch the running back unawares and drops him for minimal gain.

Crosby can make plays against the run at times just by being a great athlete. This tackle for loss probably isn’t how the coaches drew it up. Every defensive lineman in the country is told to collision pulling guards either with the inside or outside shoulder depending on the scheme and where the help is located. Crosby eschews convention in this play, side stepping the guard and taking the ball carrier down.

A great athlete for Mid-American Conference standards, Crosby did show he needed to gain strength in a few of his reps where he wasn’t able to lean on his athleticism. The Purdue tight end was able to solo block him quite a few times in the run game. This play shows Crosby’s limitations as a run defender and how he needs to get much stronger before playing run downs in the NFL.
Pass rush

Crosby’s highest upside comes as a pass rusher. His length and athleticism combined with his effort should allow him to be an impact pass rusher by the end of his rookie contract.

Crosby reads run first on this play. When he gets off the ball he has his shoulders square and making sure the QB doesn’t hand it off. When he sees the quarterback keeps it he explodes into the backfield for a sack. His ability to accelerate into the backfield will be his calling card as a pass rusher.

Crosby has a few moves up his sleeve as a straight dropback pass rusher as well. He uses a swipe move to bat the right tackle’s hands away before turning to corner to secure this sack.

Crosby also has an inside counter. When he reads the tackle over set to compensate against the speed difference between the two players, Crosby instantly sees his opening and uses a compact swim move inside to force this incomplete pass.

Against better offensive lineman however, Crosby showed his athleticism wasn’t always enough. When strong tackles got their hands on him, he had a hard time countering and disengaging.
Conclusion

Crosby isn’t ready to get major minutes on defense just yet. If forced into a starting role it’s likely he would have a similar impact last year as Arden Key last year, always around the football but lacking the strength and power to consistently finish. Crosby’s best role early in his career will be as a sub-package player where he can rush the passer before worrying too much about stopping the run while he gains strength. The Raiders defensive end rotation is showing a lot promise, between Ferrell, Key, and Crosby. Each of these young players has a chance to turn into a great pass rusher, the Raiders are smart to collect as many lottery tickets as possible.

Johnathan Abram Jersey

With their final 1st round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft the Raiders grabbed Johnathan Abram from Mississippi State. The hard hitting safety joins an Oakland secondary that features two other first round picks in Gareon Conley and Karl Joseph. It’s possible the addition of Abram could spell the end for Karl Joseph’s time in Oakland. However it ends up shaking out, it’s debatable that the Raiders made a huge improvement their secondary by taking Abram in round one.

Abram’s strengths are his athleticism, hitting ability and effort he brings on the field. He apparently graduated Mississippi State this past fall and was enrolled in an MBA program while getting ready to be selected in the NFL draft. Married with a daughter, Abram’s maturity off the field is lauded by his former coaches, a common theme we’ve seen in this 2019 Raiders draft. But on the field, how does Abram contribute? Let’s take a look.
Pass Coverage

Abram’s pass coverage isn’t a finished product as of yet. He has the athleticism to become a very good pass defender but inconsistencies in his technique lead to up and down results.

This is a solid rep from Abram going against eventual drafted Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox. Knox runs an in-breaking route across the middle of the field and Abram stays on his outside shoulder, breaking in time to cut him off. Abram’s outside leverage position and close body contact prevents the tight end from making an adjustment on this pass.

The clip above is another good rep from Abram in coverage and shows how the defensive back has the speed to stay in phase with receivers downfield. Abram is in man coverage and turns to locate the ball, when he realizes it will be out of his reach, he turns his eyes back on the receiver and “rakes” the catch point, breaking up the pass. Often defenders panic when they are in a back shoulder position, Abram knows he has a chance, stays collected and makes a text-book play.

Lined up on the left side of the screen in man coverage against fellow first round pick, Iowa’s TJ Hockenson, Abram is late to break on this out route. This is a technique issue for Abram and it pops up a few times in his film. Abram is guilty here of what is called a “drop step” where a DB will lose ground prior to his break. If Abram stays square and gains ground on his first step, he has the burst to be in better position against this pass.

Another technique issue is Abram gets too grabby with receivers. He is in absolutely perfect position on this deep pass up the sideline. As he starts to get his head around to locate the ball for some reason he second guesses himself and and grabs the receiver first, resulting in a pass interference penalty.

We can leave Abram’s pass coverage break down on a high-note. Abram is again in man coverage on the slot receiver in this clip. He transitions vertical and stays on the receiver’s outside shoulder allowing him to read through his man to the quarterback. This eye discipline is what allows him to make the play here because he breaks on the throw and hauls in the interception. Abram has the speed and explosiveness to consistently stay in phase against down field threats. There are just a few technique issues he needs to clean up before he can make a substantial impact in coverage.
Physicality

It seems the Raiders put a premium on physicality, a trait all 3 first round selections have in spades. Abram perhaps the most physical of the bunch is notorious for his hitting ability. Abram was famously the reason for Mississippi State stopping their 2018 Spring Game early due to the vicious safety leveling his own teammate. Abram plays at full speed every time he steps on the field.

The play above is Abram at his best, he hustles from the opposite side of the field and takes an incredible angle to stop this reverse for a loss of yardage. Abram is just moving at a different speed than his teammates who are ready to make this tackle a few yards upfield before Abram whizzes past them.

This blitz against Iowa shows Abram is versatile and also won’t be blocked easily. He explodes off the snap, and meets the Iowa running back head on, throwing him aside with ease to notch this sack.

Defeating blocks and making plays behind the line of scrimmage should become Abram’s calling card with the Raiders. He tosses 2nd round draft pick, Irv Smith Jr aside, exploding off his inside foot and spinning off the block. This isn’t just athleticism at work, defenders are being taught to dispatch blockers in this manner, and Abram is able to do it at full speed before dropping the screen in the backfield.

One thing Abram needs to work on is his tackling technique. Right now he relies on his formidable hitting ability to drop ball carriers. He will need to wrap his arms and run his feet through contact more consistently otherwise there will be a handful of plays like this where Abram misses a tackle. Another area of Abram’s game that is very correctable and he has the traits that suggest this shouldn’t be a problem for him in the NFL.
Conclusion

If the Raiders are indeed moving on from Karl Joseph, it’s hard to sell Abram as an immediate upgrade. The two hard hitting safeties are very much alike. Size wise; Abram (5’11) is one inch taller than Joseph (5’10) but Joseph has arms (32 inches) that measure one inch longer than Abram’s (31 inches), both weighed in a 205 lbs at the combine. Both safeties played a lot of box coverage in college and had great film that landed them in the first round of the NFL draft. Each are hard hitters, Joseph actually proving he can do it against NFL competition so he gets the edge.

We saw Joseph struggle to get his footwork down early on in his career and he only seemed to turn the corner this past season in pass coverage. Abram too has things he needs to clean up before he can make an impact in pass coverage. Best case scenario Abram and Joseph compete for a starting position and both get on the field in Nickel personnel when Lamarcus Joyner moves to the slot. It’s doubtful that scenario actually plays out. It seems likely Joseph is let go and the secondary breaks even with a younger but similar player as a starter.

Josh Jacobs Jersey

Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Measurables

5’10”, 220 lbs
Stats

2018: 120 carries, 640 yards (5.3 avg), 11 touchdowns

2017: 46 carries, 284 yards (6.2 avg), 1 touchdown

2016: 86 carries, 564 yards (6.6 avg), 4 touchdowns
Awards

2019 SEC Championship MVP
Strengths

While he played in a rotation due to Alabama’s talented backfield, Jacobs has the potential to be a three-down running back that can run between the tackles while also providing a threat in the passing game. He emerged as one of Alabama’s best blockers due to his physicality and understanding of a pass rush. His character and work ethic are top notch, and he has low tread on his tires with just 252 career carries. This past year, Jacobs led the nation with 41% of his carries resulting in a first down or touchdown.

Weaknesses

The biggest question mark that comes with Jacob is his lack of playing time at the college level. Of his 120 carries in 2018, only one went for 20-plus yards.

Verdict

Overall, Josh Jacobs has a rare combination of skills as he is multidimensional and can impact an offense in a variety of ways. He is a true three-down running back, and was the consensus top player at his position in the 2019 NFL Draft. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked Jacobs as the 8th overall player in the draft.
Fit With Raiders

With the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, the Raiders had a need at running back. They filled that hole drafting the best running back in the 2019 NFL Draft. Jacobs gives Jon Gruden a back with three-down potential due to his ability to run, catch, and block at a high level. Jalen Richard and Isaiah Crowell.provide good depth, but Jacobs takes Oakland’s backfield to a whole new level. He should have no problem surpassing 1,000 total yards as a rookie, and has the potential to become a Pro Bowl caliber player.

Trayvon Mullen Jersey

Trayvon Mullen ready to join forces with Clemson teammate Clelin Ferrell at the NFL level.

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I don’t know if Clemson Tigers Head Coach Dabo Sweeney put in a good word, but the Oakland Raiders have added two Tigers just four picks into the 2019 NFL Draft.

Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock got the party started Thursday night when they selected premier pass rusher Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick and followed it up with running back Josh Jacobs at No. 24 and safety Johnathan Abram at No. 27.

When Day Two started, the Silver and Black were originally supposed to be the third team to make their choice with the No. 35 pick, but after trading back with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills they didn’t pick until No. 40. With the Raiders’ second-round pick, the team selected Ferrell’s college teammate, cornerback Trayvon Mullen. The Clemson Tiger had an impressive performance during the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game, which Mayock happened to be in attendance for.

The opportunity to join forces with his Tiger brethren at the NFL level is something Mullen is looking forward to, and he’s eager to hit the field with his fellow 2019 draftmates.

“It means a lot being a member of the Oakland Raiders, getting a chance to get with [Head] Coach [Jon] Gruden and them, and [General Manager] Mike [Mayock], the GM,” Mullen told the media via conference call. “Those guys are great guys. They brought me up on the visit. They took the opportunity to draft me. They are going to get a great player especially with me and Clelin and even [Johnathan] Jon Abram, because that’s like my best friend man. Us guys getting together is going to be awesome.”

Mullen spent three seasons at Clemson, winning the CFP National Championship twice. He played in 32 games, totaled 93 tackles, four-and-a-half tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions, and seven passes defensed. While his body of work speaks for itself, he thinks his one interception, one sack, and six tackle performance improved his draft stock because it showed that he’s capable of playing his best under the bright lights.

“I think it did a lot,” Mullen said when asked about whether his championship performance helped him stand out. “Just the way I went out there and showed the world the elite player that I am, how confident I am, how strong and physical I am and just showing my capability and the type of good athlete I am. I believe that game played a big role. I was really excited after that game. It motivated me a lot to even make my decision to coming out early.”

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was on Mayock’s draft board that day on, and the Raiders general manager was fired up when he selected him at No. 40 overall.

“We’re excited to get Trayvon, another Clemson player,” Mayock said during his press conference following Day Two of the 2019 NFL Draft. “He had a great national championship game, he’s a long corner 6’1”, almost 6’2”. About 190 pounds, ran in the 4.4 [second range]. We love his length, he fits in Paul Guenther’s defense to a T. Long press corner that runs and we’re really excited about this kid’s upside.”
Mullen will join a secondary featuring former first-round pick Gareon Conley, and on opposite sides of the field they could offer great range and length, setting up a quality tandem for years to come.