One of the bigger surprises to make the Las Vegas Raiders’ initial 53-man roster this week was wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson.
Let’s get to know him some more:
How did he make the team:
Wilkerson just kept showing up in training camp practices in preseason games. He was a complete longshot to start training camp, but he kept opening eyes. He secured his spot on the roster as he had a whopping 10 catches for 122 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in the preseason finale. Wilkerson had 17 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown reception in three preseason game.
Who did he beat out:
The Raiders had a crowded wide receiver room. Wilkerson, who is 6-foot-1, 214 pounds, outlasted veterans Keelan Cole, Cam Sims and Phillip Dorsett, all established veterans who signed (or re-signed) with the Raiders this offseason. Again, this was a pretty big upset.
He is 26.
He attended Southeast Missouri State
He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He spent time with the New England Patriots’ roster and practice squad in 2020-21. He has played in four NFL games and has four catches. The Raiders signed him in May.
Yes, he’s another New England guy. He was with this regime with the Patriots.
What to expect this season:
Because the Raiders are so deep at receiver, Wilkerson is probably a candidate to be inactive a lot of weeks. He can carve a role as a special teamer and could get opportunities on offense if there are injuries,