Player News - Raiders

Date: Team: Pos:

The Raiders are not expected to exercise CB D.J. Hayden's fifth-year option.

Hayden has underachieved in his first three seasons and the Raiders upgraded at cornerback by signing Sean Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to start opposite David Amerson with T.J. Carrie sitting behind them at No. 3 on the depth chart. There's no way Oakland is going to fork over $8.026 million for a fourth-string corner. ESPN Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez has suggested Hayden might not even make the 53-man roster.
May 1 - 9:06 AM

Raiders sign Cincinnati WR Johnny Holton.

Holton (6'1/190) spent two years as a Bearcat after transferring from JUCO, playing special teams and earning sub-package work at wideout. He finished his career with a 46-892-10 (19.4 YPR) receiving line and pedestrian 20.9 yards per kickoff return. Holton's lack of college dominance combined with his average athleticism -- 4.54 forty, 31 1/2-inch vertical -- make him an NFL long shot barring Pro Bowl-level gunner production.
Apr 30 - 8:03 PM

Raiders signed Indiana DL Darius Latham.

Latham (6'4/311) made 20 starts in three years at IU, tallying 18.5 career tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten as a 2015 true junior, then turned pro. Latham struggled with suspensions and play-to-play consistency with the Hoosiers, but offers big-time run-stuffing and some interior pass-rushing potential as a long-armed (34 3/4") space eater with powerful hands. Latham could settle in as a useful reserve.
Apr 30 - 7:36 PM

Raiders selected LSU OG Vadal Alexander with the No. 234 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Alexander (6'5/326) made 46 career starts for the Tigers, 25 at left guard and 21 at right tackle. He earned second-team All-American honors as a senior. Long armed (35 1/4") with huge hands (10 1/2"), Alexander is a downhill power blocker who underachieved on college tape, too often failing to sustain blocks and consistently struggling with edge speed. Alexander's best chance to hang in the NFL will be as a mauling, phone-booth guard.
Apr 30 - 6:00 PM

Raiders selected Colorado State LB Cory James with the No. 194 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

James (6'1/229) made 46 starts for the Rams, piling up 41 career tackles for loss, 24 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He split time between defensive end and middle linebacker and earned second-team All-Mountain West honors as a senior. James is undersized for both positions, but he did show NFL-level athleticism at CSU's Pro Day by running 4.6-flat with a 10-foot-7 broad jump and 35-inch vertical. James has an NFL future as a special teamer and perhaps an edge rusher in sub-package situations.
Apr 30 - 4:28 PM

Raiders selected Texas Tech RB DeAndre Washington with the No. 143 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Washington (5'8/204) was a two-year starter in the Red Raiders' backfield, compiling a career rushing line of 605-3,411-23 (5.6 YPC) with 124 receptions. He showed his long speed at the Combine, blazing 4.49 with passable marks in the vertical (34 1/2") and broad (9'10") jumps. Despite lofty college production, Washington struggles with drops, pass protection, and fumbles and is undersized by NFL feature back standards. He may have to show special teams value to hang around.
Apr 30 - 2:11 PM

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Matt McGloin will compete with fourth-round pick Connor Cook for the backup quarterback job this season.

Oakland made the puzzling choice of leapfrogging the Cowboys to select Cook with the 100th overall pick. GM Reggie McKenzie is a disciple of former Packers executive Ron Wolf, who was known for developing quarterbacks and turning them into trade assets. Considering he wasn't even drafed, McGloin has fared reasonably well in his three years with Oakland, completing 58.4 percent of his passes for a 76.2 career passer rating. Cook and McGloin will be destined for clipboard duty this season behind franchise quarterback Derek Carr.
Apr 30 - 12:31 PM

Raiders traded up with the Browns to select Michigan State QB Connor Cook with the No. 100 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

This year's A.J. McCarron goes earlier than he probably should. It's an odd move after the Raiders tendered backup Matt McGloin at the second-round level. Cook (6'4/217) made 39 starts for Sparty, posting a 34-5 record, 57.5 career completion percentage, 7.86 YPA and 71:22 TD-to-INT ratio. He tested out well in Indy, running 4.79 with a 33-inch vertical. Cook is ideally built with decent arm strength, but his accuracy is worrisome and that can be a fatal flaw. Cook was also persistently knocked for poor leadership at Michigan State, failing to earn team captain as a junior or senior. On the field, Cook profiles as a cross between Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. He looks the part, but doesn't throw the ball straight or with touch on a consistent basis.
Apr 30 - 12:16 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports "multiple teams" have contacted the Browns about the first pick in the fourth round.

Schefter said a quarterback "figures" to be the target. It is possible teams are trading up to grab Michigan State QB Connor Cook, but it has become abundantly clear the concerns about Cook's maturity and leadership have resonated around the league. Thought to be a second-round value, Baylor DL Andrew Billings is also still on the board.
Apr 30 - 11:42 AM

Raiders selected Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun with the No. 75 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Calhoun (6'4/251) was a three-time first-team All-Big Ten pick, finishing his decorated career with 44 tackles for loss, 27 sacks, and four forced fumbles across 42 starts. He tested out as an average to above-average athlete in Indianapolis, running 4.82 with a 35-inch vertical and 9-foot-7 broad jump. Calhoun has a basketball background and long arms (34 1/4"), and showed an obvious knack for pressuring quarterbacks in college. He still has a long way to go as a run defender, and is an old prospect having already turned 24. Calhoun projects as a high-floor, arguably low-ceiling edge rusher in the pros.
Apr 29 - 10:14 PM

Raiders selected Illinois DT Jihad Ward with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Ward (6'5/297) made 25 starts for the Illini after transferring from JUCO, posting 12 career tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks with three forced fumbles. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick as a senior. Ward's stock took a hit in Indy, testing as a third-percentile SPARQ athlete. There's also word he may require a knee scope that would sideline him 4-6 weeks. Still a high-energy lineman with plus length (33 7/8") and versatility to play multiple defensive line positions, Ward's best fit in the league will be as a five-technique.
Apr 29 - 8:08 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Cowboys attempted to trade back into the first round to draft Paxton Lynch.

Jerry Jones even said he thought they had a deal done with the Seahawks. He was obviously wrong, but the headline here is that Dallas is on the hunt for a quarterback. The Cowboys brought six quarterbacks in for pre-draft visits including Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg. Both are still available and could be drafted near the top of the second round. Dallas should be able to grab one of them with the 34th pick.
Apr 29 - 12:05 AM

Raiders S Karl Joseph (knee) said he plans to be ready for training camp.

Joseph tore his right ACL four games into his senior season at West Virginia but has had seven months to recover and should be a full go for training camp. The 21-year-old was the first safety selected in this year's draft, going three spots ahead of Florida's Keanu Neal.
Apr 28 - 11:46 PM

Raiders selected West Virginia S Karl Joseph with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Joseph (5'10/205) made 42 starts for the Mountaineers before a torn right ACL ended his senior year after four games. He tallied nine career interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 16.5 tackles for loss. Joseph earned first-team All-Big 12 as a junior. A big hitter in run defense and a ballhawk in the back end, Joseph combines a strong safety's demeanor with free safety range. Joseph's ACL tear prevented him from working out before the draft, but the Raiders obviously weren't deterred. The Raiders clearly believed he was the draft's top safety, and there's a good chance they're right.
Apr 28 - 9:51 PM

Raiders owner Mark Davis says the team "will be the Las Vegas Raiders" if the city comes through.

"We have made a commitment to Las Vegas and that's where it stands," Davis said. "If Las Vegas can come through ... we'll be the Las Vegas Raiders. I have never used a city as a bargaining chip. This is real." There's no ambiguity in Davis' words, suggesting it's more than just a leverage play. Davis says the team is ready to contribute $500 million if the city approves a stadium plan. If it's not already too late, it's beginning to look like now-or-never for the city of Oakland.
Apr 28 - 2:12 PM


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