As we continue the Poll Position series, it just so happens the Raiders tight end position is a bit of a hot topic with Stockton native and Free-Agent-to-be Julius Thomas recently making some statements that suggest he is very much interested in signing with the Raiders this off-season.
That conversation brings us nicely into just how big a need do you guys think the Raiders have at tight end. Here is how the position stacks up right now:
Came out strong as a rookie out of necessity. Followed up that rookie season with a pretty solid second season, finishing third on the team in receiving with 534 yards and 4 touchdowns. He does tend to struggle with blocking although he appears to have improved some in that area from his rookie season.
The team's primary blocking tight end. He signed with the Raiders originally as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and spent the season on the practice squad. He then made the team out of camp last year. While he does well as a blocker, he isn't used much as a receiver. He was targeted just 8 times last season with 6 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.
David Ausberry (UFA)
For the past couple seasons, Ausberry was supposed to be the starter, and both times he was lost for the season early on. He is set to be a free agent and the Raiders won't be putting their hopes in him again.
Signed as an undrafted free agent this off-season. He was placed on the practice squad at the beginning of the season and was called up to the active roster late in the season as an injury replacement. He didn't record a stat.
As a rookie in 2013, the 6th round pick had just one reception... for a touchdown. He spent all last season on injured reserve.