The Athletic dropped an interesting nugget Monday when it reported that the Las Vegas Raiders’ expect undrafted free agent wide receiver Dillon Stoner to make the 53-man roster.
It’s fascinating that the team thinks an undrafted rookie will make the roster this early in the process. Clearly, Stoner must be standing out in the OTA sessions.
But there is a long way to go. He will need to shine throughout training camp and in the preseason.
Additionally, Stoner’s journey is interesting because the Raiders have a crowded group at wide receiver. It will be difficult for any undrafted player to crack the 53-man roster at wide receiver. The Raiders will probably keep six receivers, perhaps they can carry seven if it is warranted, but that’s pretty rare and would take away from another spot on the roster.
Basically, if Stoner makes the roster, someone unexpectedly won’t make it, unless there is an injury at the position.
2020 draft picks Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and newly-signed veterans John Brown and Willie Snead are all locks to make the roster. That leaves veteran Zay Jones (who Raiders coach Jon Gruden really likes), Marcell Ateman, Keelan Doss, Trey Quinn, DJ Turner, Caleb Scott and Stoner all fighting for one spot.
The way I read it now is the Raiders see a higher ceiling for Stoner, an Oklahoma State product, than Doss and Ateman, who were both former camp darlings themselves. I could see the last spot coming down to Jones and Stoner.
However it shakes out, it’s going to be fun to watch develop this summer.