Player News - Raiders

Date: Team: Pos:

Raiders signed No. 194 overall pick LB Cory James to a four-year contract.

The Raiders have now signed six of their seven draft picks. A sixth-rounder out of Colorado State, James' best chance to see the field will come on special teams.
May 20 - 4:33 PM

Raiders signed No. 44 overall pick DL Jihad Ward to a four-year contract.

There was some concern coming out of the draft Ward would need an arthroscopic knee surgery which would knock him out of the offseason program, but he has practiced without limitations so far. A versatile prospect, Ward will compete for a rotational role as a rookie.
May 18 - 4:28 PM

ESPN's Paul Gutierrez said the Raiders plan to bring second-round DL Jihad Ward along slowly.

Ward was seen as something of a reach in the second round because of athletic concerns, a lack of college production and a potential knee injury. Ward has said his knee is fine, and he is expecting a quick transition to the pros. "I’m ready, but I still need coaches just to help me," Ward said. "You have to learn from the greats. I’m learning from all these coaches." Ward should serve as a rotational lineman as a rookie.
Source: ESPN
May 17 - 9:01 AM

ESPN's Paul Gutierrez reports the Raiders view Bruce Irvin as a "bookend pass-rusher" for Khalil Mack.

Irvin played a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher role with the Seahawks, but it sounds like his main focus will be getting after the quarterback in Oakland. Irvin has recorded just 22 sacks in four seasons, but a tighter focus on rushing the passer should lead to more production.
Source: ESPN
May 16 - 11:29 AM

Khalil Mack said the Raiders' defense can be as good as the Broncos.

"If you look at that Broncos defense, they’re one of the best defenses in NFL history last year. They did a lot to make the quarterback uncomfortable," Mack said. "We can do those types of things and still put our own little twist on it. We can be that good." The Raiders brought in Bruce Irvin, Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson in free agency before spending a first-rounder on Karl Joseph, a second-rounder on Jihad Ward and a third-rounder on Shilique Calhoun. Oakland still could use some help at inside linebacker, but they have the potential to be among the best defenses in the league.
May 16 - 10:53 AM

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said fourth-round QB Connor Cook has been "outstanding" at rookie camp.

"Obviously he is intelligent. He asks good questions. He’s got arm talent," said Del Rio. "I think he’s off to a great start." Cook didn't seem entirely satisfied with his performance but he did enough to stand out among the 50 players invited to Oakland's rookie camp. He's competing with Matt McGloin for the No. 2 job behind starter Derek Carr.
May 15 - 12:57 PM

Raiders first-round S Karl Joseph (ACL) is not participating in rookie minicamp.

Joseph tore his ACL in October, but he is fully expected to be ready to go by training camp. Unless he suffers a setback, he will be in the starting lineup Week 1. After bringing in Joseph, Reggie Nelson, and Sean Smith, Oakland should have a much better secondary this season.
Source: FOX Sports
May 14 - 9:51 AM

Raiders second-round DT Jihad Ward (knee) won’t require arthroscopic surgery.

There was a report Ward would miss 4-6 weeks, but he’s practicing at minicamp without limitations. For now, his knee looks to be a non-issue. Ward will open the season as a major part of the defensive line rotation if he can stay healthy.
May 13 - 8:28 PM

Raiders signed USC edge rusher Greg Townsend Jr.

Townsend’s father, a four-time All-Pro, owns the Raiders' franchise sack record with 107.5. Despite also coming into this world with superb physical ability, Greg Jr.'s career has been derailed time and time again by injuries. He missed the entire 2013 campaign with a knee injury and has additionally been beset by a comical assortment of maladies ranging from ankle and foot issues to chicken pox. Townsend Jr. (6'2, 258) has dropped more than 15 pounds from the 275 he generally carried around with the Trojans. You'd think he's eyeing a potential shift to outside linebacker, which makes sense for a player who doesn't play with power, but Townsend's lack of athleticism (4.86 forty, 7.50 3-cone) figures to do him in if his body doesn't beat it to the punch.
May 13 - 2:47 PM

Raiders signed Washington WR Jaydon Mickens.

Mickens (5’11, 170) got his chance because he boasts NFL-level athleticism. At his Pro Day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds while turning in leaps of 35.5 inches vertically and 10-foot-1 horizontally. His best showing came in the agility-proving three-cone drill, which he aced in 6.58 seconds (would have been No. 2 among WRs at the NFL Scouting Combine). All of this is well and good, but Mickens' routes have been criticized and he gets pushed around by stronger corners.
May 13 - 2:04 PM

Raiders signed Utah Southern edge rusher James Cowser.

Cowser (6’3, 248) is the FCS all-time leader in sacks (42.5) and TFL (80). Unfortunately for his NFL future, he lacks the overt athleticism that you would like to see out of an edge rusher. He also is on the older side of the equation, as he graduated from high school in 2009 and spent two years on a Mormon mission before beginning his career at Southern Utah. Cowser built a reputation on motor and drive, which could land him a special teams position if he impresses in August. Assuming the Raiders intend to use him as an OLB, Cowser will compete with Korey Toomer and John Lotulelei for a spot.
May 13 - 1:09 PM

An anonymous NFL owner told Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman the percentage chance the Raiders move to Las Vegas "is now 50 percent -- and maybe as high as 75."

As recently as a few years ago, that same owner said there would have been "no effing way" the NFL would have allowed a team to go to Vegas. "Las Vegas," he said, "was considered poison. That's not the case any longer. One of the things owners see is there's a lot of money to be made there. A lot of money will ease those gambling concerns." Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already came out and supported the move, which is very notable after Jones greatly influenced the Rams' move to L.A. He has a lot of pull among the league's owners. One caveat, however, is Jones has insisted Mark Davis relinquish control of the Raiders.
May 13 - 9:51 AM

Raiders signed fifth-round RB DeAndre Washington to a four-year contract.

Termed a "complete back" by GM Reggie McKenzie, Washington will put immediate heat on Latavius Murray, whom the Raiders have been publicly desperate to upgrade. At the very least, Washington should catch some passes as a rookie, though his pass protection was a question mark at Texas Tech. Washington is a fifth-rounder who could greatly over-perform his draft position in Dynasty leagues.
May 10 - 7:14 PM

Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman insists the city is not "getting played" by the Raiders.

It's always reassuring when you have to publicly state you are not getting taken advantage of. "The Raiders will come if Nevada handles this properly," Goodman said Tuesday. "(Raiders owner) Mark Davis has assured us that Las Vegas is not getting played in a Raiders stadium deal. I know we will have a team." All that may be technically true, but Davis could still be secretly counting on the league to eventually "play" Vegas as he attempts to extract a stadium deal from Oakland. Despite Vegas' enthusiasm, the city still has a number of significant hurdles to overcome before the Silver and Black can relocate to the desert.
Source: ESPN.com
May 10 - 1:56 PM

The Raiders will transition 2014 fourth-round pick Keith McGill to safety.

McGill came into the league as a corner, but he has struggled to climb the depth chart, playing just 165 defensive snaps in two years. He played safety most of his college career, and the depth chart is a little more open there than at corner. He could carve out a rotational role behind starters Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph, but his main contributions will continue to come on special teams.
May 10 - 10:02 AM


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