You may or may not have found reasons to criticize the Raiders 2019 draft class. But there’s a whole like to like in the group of prospects they landed as free agents. As many as four of the Raiders undrafted free agent additions were definitely draft worthy. The rest have characteristics that make them worthy of a shot, especially the competition on the offensive line.
Te’von Coney, LB, Notre Dame
There were projections as high as the fourth round for Coney. Several, in fact. That seemed to be where many thought he would go. Some even had him ranked ahead of teammate Drue Tranquill who was picked in the fourth round. After all, he started 29 games for the Fighting Irish, including his final 20 games straight and had over 100 tackles in each of his last two seasons with a total of 314 tackles and 24.5 tackles for loss in 50 games.
Add the Raiders glaring need at the linebacker position and Coney has a very good shot of breaking in and making this team. Several of the players he will be competing with also went undrafted including Vontaze Burfict, Jason Cabinda, and Nicholas Morrow.
Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis
Another undrafted free agent find who was projected by many to be selected early on day three of the draft. A torn pectoral muscle at the combine is suspected of dropping him out of the draft.
Doss set records for the Aggies in career receptions (312), receiving yards (4,069) and 100-yard games (19. The 6-2, 211-pound receiver added 28 career receiving TD’s, which is the most in the program has had since joining Division I.
Doss played for Gruden’s staff in the Senior Bowl and attended the team’s local pro day. Gruden went hard after him, and lured in the Alameda native despite several teams vying to sign him. Even with the additions of Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Grant, and the drafting of Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round, Doss could land a spot on the team.
Tyler Roemer, T, San Diego State
Roemer had 6th round pick written all over him. Investing in offensive linemen in undrafted free agency is a great idea and Roemer could be a pretty good one. He started at left tackle the past two seasons for the Aztecs. At 6-6, 312 pounds he has the size that Tom Cable likes. If he can play guard as well, he has a very good shot at making the Raiders as a reserve utility offensive lineman. That position is completely up in the air.
Alex Ingold, FB, Wisconsin
Ingold is arguably the best fullback in this class. Like Doss, he played on the North team in the Senior Bowl and was coached by the Raiders’ staff. Kieth Smith occupies the fullback position for the Raiders currently, in part because he also plays a fine bit of special teams. Ingold will have a shot to unseat him.
Andre James, T/G, UCLA
James started 32 games for the Bruins, first at right tackle as a junior, then last season at left tackle, replacing Kolton Miller who was selected in the first round by the Raiders last year. Another tackle who could also be in line for a move to guard.
Lester Cotton Sr, G, Alabama
On one hand, starting 28 games at Alabama is no small accomplishment. On the other hand, there is no shortage of tape on Cotton and if he showed great promise for a big time program like this one, he would surely have gotten drafted. Probably fairly high. Cotton is a hefty 6-4, 325. Gruden said Friday that the left guard spot is “wide open” so if Cotton shows talent, he will have every opportunity to land that job. We know how much emphasis the Raiders put on players from the National Championship game. Cotton was the fifth rookie they picked up from either Alabama or Clemson.
Lukayus McNeil, OL, Louisville
And another guard/tackle prospect. Over 46 starts for the Cardinals, McNeil bounced back and forth from tackle and guard. He’s a monster too, standing at 6-6 and weighing in at 328 pounds.
Dylan Mabin, CB, Fordham
You like these potential under-the-radar signings. Mabin started 31 games for Fordham, picking up 40 passes defended and one interception in 42 appearances. He was named All-Patriots League his final two seasons. As a Senior, he had a pick six, 10 passes defended, and 49 tackles.
Keisean Nixon, CB, South Carolina
A JuCo transfer, Nixon had two interceptions in his first season for the Gamecocks. He would start 11 games as a Senior and lead the team with 9 passes defended while giving up just one touchdown. He’s, of course, tall too, standing at 6-1, 196 pounds.
Koa Farmer, LB, Penn State
When you can get a 28-game starter from Linebacker U, why not. He had 130 tackles (59 solo) in 52 appearances for the Nittany Lions.