The Raiders signed RB Devontae Booker. The former Bronco has mustered just 3.8 yards per carry over 4 NFL seasons but has averaged 8.3 yards per catch on 105 grabs. He'll compete for a pass-catching role in Las Vegas. Booker is far from a lock to make the final roster, but his addition is another sign that the Raiders aren't ready to hand RB Josh Jacobs a 3-down, workhorse role. The team has also re-signed RB Jalen Richard and drafted RB Lynn Bowden this offseason.
The Raiders added South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins Henry Ruggs in Oakland’s remade WR corps. Edwards’ college production profile is as impressive as any WR in this class. He posted a 44-590-4 line as a 17-year-old true freshman and then led the Gamecocks with 64 catches, 793 yards and 5 scores as a sophomore. Edwards set new career highs with 846 yards and 7 TDs in 2018. And he turned in a 71-816-6 line this past year, despite missing 2 games. He led the SEC with 7.1 catches per game and ranked 4th with 81.6 receiving yards per game. Edwards is a 6’3, 212-pounder who plays to that size. He’s a tackle-breaker after the catch and is comfortable in contested situations. The big concern is Edwards’ injury history. He tore the meniscus in his right knee as a high school senior, strained a hamstring in 2016, hurt his left knee in 2019 and fractured his left foot while training for the Combine in February. Edwards figures to compete with Tyrell Williams for snaps in 2020.
The Raiders selected Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Bowden was asked to move to QB for the final 8 games of this past season, ultimately earning the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most outstanding all-purpose player. He finished the year with 403 passing yards, 1,468 rushing yards and 348 receiving yards. Bowden spent his first 2 years on campus at WR, tallying 17 catches for 210 yards as a freshman and then leading the team with 67 catches, 745 yards and 5 TDs as a sophomore. He also averaged 22.9 yards per kick return and 22.1 yards per punt return with 2 TDs over the past 3 years. A hamstring injury prevented Bowden from working out at the Combine. The Raiders interestingly announced him as a RB when they picked him. We’ll keep a close eye on how they plan to deploy Bowden.
The Raiders selected Alabama WR Henry Ruggs with the 12th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Ahead of CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Wow. Ruggs has field-tilting speed. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch over 3 college seasons and blazed a 4.27-second 40 time at the Combine. The 5’11, 188-pounder also crushed the vertical and broad jumps to earn a 99th percentile SPARQ score. Ruggs’ college production is lacking, though. He never topped 46 catches or 746 receiving yards in a season, despite catching passes from QB Tua Tagovailoa for much of that time. Ruggs feasted on weaker competition, averaging 100 yards and 1.2 TDs per game vs. Non-Power 5 schools over the last 2 seasons but just 47 yards and .6 TDs vs. Power 5 opponents. And, despite that elite speed, he made just 4 receptions 20+ yards downfield in 2019. Ruggs also dealt with a rib injury, a lower-body injury and a 3rd undisclosed injury this past season. “He was really a specialist in their offense where they designed certain plays for him,” an anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He is fast, but when people get on him you don’t see the same speed and route running. When he gets the ball, if he has a clear path, he can go. But he’s not a make-you-miss player.” It’ll be a disappointment if Ruggs doesn’t immediately carve out a significant role as a rookie, although we don’t like this fit with the conservative Derek Carr.
The Raiders have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Nelson Agholor, according to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune. Agholor played outside and inside with the Eagles but is probably best suited for the slot. That, however, became Hunter Renfrow's spot in 2019. In Oakland, Agholor would make more sense as competition for the outside role opposite Tyrell Williams. Of course, there's still room for the Raiders to add more to the position in free agency or the draft. We'll see how this group settles out. For now, Agholor isn't worth much attention in best-ball fantasy football drafts. The Raiders have also agreed to a deal to bring back reserve RB Rod Smith. He spent 3 games with the Raiders last season but didn't garner a touch.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders have agreed to a 1-year, $4.75 million deal with TE Jason Witten. It's an odd fit, given that Las Vegas had both Darren Waller and rookie Foster Moreau emerge last year. We'll see if Witten actually makes the regular-season roster. Either way, he looks like a fantasy non-factor.
The Raiders have reached a 3-year, $36 million deal with LB Cory Littleton. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it will include $22 million guaranteed. That follow's Las Vegas' Monday deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski to likely fill the team's 2 full-time LB roles for the coming season. Littleton clearly stands as the better player, but we'll see exactly what their roles look like. Littleton became a versatile performer with the Rams, delivering in the pass rush and coverage. He'll remain a stellar bet for fantasy production in the middle of a defense that delivered Tahir Whitehead 108 tackles in 2019. There's room, though, for Kwiatkoski to also reach fantasy-starter territory -- at least in low LB3 range.
The Raiders have reached a deal with QB Marcus Mariota, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Mariota will back up QB Derek Carr, which doesn't help his fantasy outlook as much as landing in Chicago would have. But Carr doesn't look like the most secure starter in the league. Oakland's not a terrible spot. Still just 26 until Oct. 30, Mariota also likely has at least 1 more NFL contract beyond this one.
The Raiders have agreed to a 3-year, $21 million deal with LB Nick Kwiatkoski. The former Bear started 8 games for Chicago last season, filling in for each of the team's ILB starters at different points. He steps into a starting job in an Oakland LB corps with lots of tackles available. Tahir Whitehead is gone after leading the team with 108 tackles (79 solo) last season.
The Raiders have signed RB Jalen Richard to an undisclosed contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Richard was set to hit free agency in March but will remain with the team that he's spent all 4 of his NFL seasons with. Richard has totaled 160 catches as a pro, including 36 this past year. DeAndre Washington stepped in as the lead back when RB Josh Jacobs was sidelined in 2019 -- but Washington will be a free agent next month. That could leave Richard as Jacobs' handcuff in 2020.
Raiders TE Darren Waller underwent thumb surgery on Monday, HC Jay Gruden said. We don't have a recovery timeline, but this shouldn't impact Waller's 2020. The 2019 breakout finished 2nd among TEs in PPR points and 4th in non-PPR.
Bears CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) is active for today's game against the Vikings. He entered questionable but is available for IDP usage.
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder, illness) has been downgraded to out for Sunday's game against the Broncos. DeAndre Washington gets another game as Oakland's lead back. He's compiled 202 yards and 2 TDs in 2 games without Jacobs this year.
Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) is out for this weekend’s game against the Giants. Greg Ward will again be the best volume bet among Philly WRs after totaling 23 targets over the past 3 weeks.
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder) is "unlikely" to play against the Broncos this weekend, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Oakland still has an outside shot at the playoffs with a win over Denver, but it'll again be DeAndre Washington as the lead back. He's racked up 37 carries and 10 targets in 2 games without Jacobs this season.
Update: Jacobs is listed as doubtful.
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs' leg surgery was to treat a "superficial skin infection," the team announced on Thursday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that the procedure was "relatively minor" and is not expected to impact his availability for this weekend's game against the Broncos. Jacobs, of course, is still iffy for that one because of his fractured shoulder.
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs posted videos of himself in a hospital gown and with a bandage on his lower leg on Wednesday night. “Surgery went great fastest surgery ever," the rookie wrote. We don't have any other details on the situation right now. But between the surgery and his lingering shoulder injury, Jacobs seems unlikely to play in Sunday's finale against the Broncos.
Raiders RB Jalen Richard suffered an ankle injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Chargers and is officially questionable to return. His absence means more work for RB DeAndre Washington.
Update: Richard returned late in the 2nd quarter.
Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) is inactive for today’s game against the Cowboys. Greg Ward is the best target bet among Philly WRs in this one. TEs Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert should continue to play big roles in the passing game.
Eagles WR Nelson Agholor (knee) is not expected to play today against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That would keep WR Greg Ward as the primary slot guy, which has been a productive spot against Dallas.
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