Oakland Raiders Undrafted Free Agents: Is the Next Rod Streater on This List?
The Oakland Raiders have completed their draft and now set their eyes on undrafted free agents. Reggie McKenzie's best acquisition in his first two years has been Rod Streater. He signed the undrafted free agent after the NFL draft in 2012. Heading into the 2014 season, Streater is expected to be the No. 1 receiver for the Raiders and may become a household name.
Streater isn't the only undrafted free agent to make an immediate impact whom McKenzie has found. Last year, McKenzie signed Matt McGloin after he went undrafted. McGloin ended up starting six games for the Raiders in 2014 as he leaped over fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson, Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor on the depth chart. So finding an impact player after the draft is not out of the question.
So who will be the "2014 Rod Streater" for the Raiders? Let's find out.
Linebacker Carlos Fields Winston-Salem State
According to NFL.com the Raiders have signed Carlos Fields from Winston-Salem State. He is a 6'1" 238 linebacker with good athletic ability. He ran a 4.5 40 yard dash on his pro day and recorded a 38 inch vertical.
Fields did not come from a big school or division, but his athleticism gives him a chance to make the Raiders roster. The Raiders linebacker position has some depth, but not solid depth which makes it possible for Fields to sneak on the roster if her performs well in training camp.
Offensive Tackle Danny Kistler Montana
The Raiders added Danny Kistler one of the best offensive tackles to come out of Montana in recent years. Kistler faces an uphill battle as the Raiders offensive line is probably their deepest and most talented unit on the roster. He may be able to find a home at guard in 2014.
I think Kistler is a good practice squad candidate in 2014. If he can work on his lower body strength and develop his footwork he could find himself on the roster after a few of Oakland's veterans fall off the books in 2015.
Fullback Karl Williams Utah
The Raiders have added fullback Karl Williams. He's a 6' 244 pound full back. It will be interesting to see what Reggie McKenzie does with Williams. Oakland already has a Pro Bowl full back in Marcel Reece and McKenzie likes Jamize Olawale.
I'd pay close attention to Williams as he may be asked to change positions in camp.
Wide Receiver Noel Grigsby, San Jose State
Wide Receiver Noel Grigsby Jr. tweeted that he is now an Oakland Raider:
I'm officially a Oakland Raider. BayArea I'm back. To God be the Glory for all good and perfect things come from Him. Blessed. Time to work— Noel Grigsby Jr. (@justG_23) May 11, 2014
The Raiders didn't pick a receiver in this draft despite many experts saying it was an area of need. The draft just didn't fall in a way that let Oakland select a receiver. So it added one of the best receivers to ever play for the San Jose State Spartans.
Running Back George Atkinson III, Notre Dame
George Atkinson III has signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to himself:
Atkinson III now joins the team that his dad, George Atkinson Jr., used to play for. Atkinson III only ran for 555 yards in 2013, but he did have 780 return yards on special teams. Atkinson III is an athlete and could find a spot on the Raiders roster as a running back ahead of Kory Sheets or as a returner on special teams.
Tight End Jake Murphy Utah
Tight end Jake Murphy has announced that he is signing with the Oakland Raiders.
Official pic.twitter.com/G5v4mZyzhs— Jake murphy (@Jake_Murphy82) May 11, 2014
I expected the Raiders to take a tight end in the draft, but the cards didn't fall that way. Murphy will have a good opportunity to make the Raiders roster. Mychal Rivera is the only tight end on the current roster that got significant player time last season. Nick Kasa is still there and so is David Ausberry. Jeron Mastrud has not been signed by the Raiders this offseason.
Wide Receiver D.J. Coles
According to NFL Network the Raiders have signed Virginia Tech wide receiver D.J. Coles.
Coles is a big receiver who stands at 6'3" and weighs 225 pounds. He brings a toughness to the Raiders as you can see in the above highlight. However, he doesn't play as strong as he could be all the time. He struggles more than he should in press coverage.
He only had 25 receptions in 2013, but six of those were touchdowns. I think one of the undrafted free agent receivers makes the roster. If Coles uses his size right in training camp he could be the guy.
Wide Receiver Mike Davis Texas
NFL.com is also reporting that Oakland has signed Texas wide receiver Mike Davis. Receiver was considered a position of need for the Raiders so I expect them to add several after the draft. Davis is a player that has the ability to make the team, but he needs to stand out in camp.
In 2013 Davis 51 receptions and eight touchdowns. He scored 15 touchdowns in his last two seasons with the Longhorns. He is an athletic player who will need to prove he's willing to block down field and show he can go up and get the ball.