Shark Bites

Raiders HC Jon Gruden said Monday that RB Josh Jacobs is dealing with a groin issue. The rookie's last carry against the Chiefs came early in the 4th quarter, although we didn't see or hear about an injury. We'll need to track his practice participation this week.

Dolphins LB Raekwon McMillan returned to practice Monday after missing the entire preseason with an undisclosed injury. "Felt good. Back to 100 percent," he told the team website. HC Brian Flores also praised the 3rd-year LB. "Honestly, I've never seen a guy work so hard to get back," he said. McMillan said he doesn't know what his role will be, which points to newcomer Sam Eguavoen continuing to work ahead of McMillan. The former CFL player spent the preseason starting next to Jerome Baker and impressed. Baker hits the regular season as the top IDP option among Dolphins LBs. Eguavoen looks like the next. But you might want to wait and see this LB corps in action before using anyone beyond Baker.

"We're not sure how much we're going to play our starters ... some of the frontline guys will be very limited the next two weeks," Raiders HC Jon Gruden said Saturday, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Bair's story includes that said frontline group "might be done playing in the preseason." That's not a huge deal for Carr overall, but it would mean no game action with Antonio Brown before the regular season. We'll be interested to see who sits vs. who plays, as those who play more figure to be those still fighting for jobs.

Per Vic Tafur of The Athletic, there’s a “growing sentiment” that Raiders RB Josh Jacobs won’t report to camp with his fellow rookies on July 23. The issue is reportedly over Jacobs’ signing bonus. We’ll keep an eye on this situation, but for now, we’re not altering any projections.

Update: Jacobs signed his contract on July 10.

Oakland let TE Jared Cook walk in free agency after he led the 2018 team in targets, receptions (tied), receiving yards and receiving TDs. It sounds like the primary replacement plan is former Raven Darren Waller. "It's your position, you are the 'Y' in certain personnel groupings," OC Greg Olson said Thursday, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "We're going to put you out there on the field, and you're going to play. We're really pushing him to the limit right now." Waller just joined the Raiders in November off Baltimore's practice squad. He made it into 4 games and caught 6 balls. Waller transitioned from WR to TE with the Ravens, and it looks like Oakland wants him to play ahead of Luke Willson, rookie Foster Moreau and others this season. Waller isn't likely to find anything near Cook's target share available in an offense that has since added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Grant and a 1st-round RB. But he has a shot at fantasy relevance.

The Raiders grabbed Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Renfrow was a big part of Clemson's success over the past 4 seasons, racking up 186 catches. He averaged just 11.5 yards per reception, though, with 15 total TDs. The 5'11, 180-pounder registered a 10th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. He projects as a sure-handed but low-upside slot receiver as a pro.

The Raiders selected LSU TE Foster Moreau in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Moreau served as the Tigers’ top TE the past 2 seasons, compiling 46 catches, 550 yards and 5 TDs in a run-heavy offense. The 6’4, 252-pounder earned an 85th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine, with a 4.66-second 40 time and 36.5-inch vertical. That athleticism suggests some fantasy upside. And he lands on a wide-open Oakland TE depth chart alongside Darren Waller and Luke Willson.

The Raiders spent their 3rd pick of the NFL Draft's 1st round on S Johnathan Abram. The DB tallied 99 tackles (53 solo), 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 2 INTs in his final season at Mississippi State. Abram brings a versatile skill set to an Oakland secondary in need of help. Abram's ability plus the opportunity gives him a nice fantasy outlook -- both immediately and long term.

The Raiders nabbed Alabama RB Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jacobs never led his college backfield in carries or touches, finishing his ‘Bama career with just 251 carries and 48 catches across 3 seasons. But he was plenty impressive when he got the rock, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and 11.9 yards per catch. The 5’10, 220-pounder is a smooth mover with plenty of power. And he’s super smooth in the passing game. Jacobs ranked 13th in this RB class in yards per route run last year, per Pro Football Focus. On the ground, he finished 7th in Elusive Rating, which measures a RB’s productivity beyond the blocking he receives. Jacobs has the look of a 3-down back as a pro — and he has a good shot to capture that role right out of the gate in an Oakland backfield sporting Isaiah Crowell and Jalen Richard.

See Josh Jacobs' scouting report.

The Raiders delivered the 1st surprise of the 2019 NFL Draft by taking Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell with the 4th overall pick. Ferrell enjoyed a highly productive college career, racking up 12.5, 18.0 and 20.0 tackles for loss over the past 3 years. That included 6.0, 9.5 and 11.5 sacks. Ferrell skipped the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine and then didn't work out at Clemson's pro day because of a toe injury. His 7.26-second 3-cone drill at the combine was just 42nd percentile for his position. A weak Oakland defense presents opportunity for Ferrell to start right away.

The Raiders announced Wednesday that they have re-signed RB Jalen Richard. It's not surprising, given that Richard was a restricted free agent. At the moment, he stands a good chance at staying heavily involved in the Oakland backfield. Richard's primary competition looks like Isaiah Crowell and 2018 rookie Chris Warren, neither of whom should threaten Richard's receiving role. We'll see what else the Raiders do at the position in the draft and whether Marshawn Lynch decides to return.

The Rams have tendered restricted free agent ILB Cory Littleton at the 2nd-round level. That means any team looking to sign away the 2018 breakout would need to send the Rams a 2nd-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Perhaps some suitor will value Littleton to that degree, but we'd bet on him returning to L.A. Littleton scored across categories in his 1st turn as a full-time starter and should land in LB1 territory in our 2019 IDP rankings.

The Raiders have reached a 4-year deal with S Lamarcus Joyner, per multiple reports. He should take over the free safety spot for Oakland, which spent 2018 rotating players there. The Rams already added Eric Weddle for Joyner's old post.

The Raiders and OT Trent Brown have agreed to a 4-year, $66 million contract. The deal will make Brown the league's highest-paid OT. San Francisco's 1st-round pick back in 2015, Brown was mediocre over his first 2 seasons but has received positive grades from Pro Football Focus in each of the last 2 (1 with the 'Niners, 1 with the Patriots). He ranked 44th among 80 OTs in PFF's 2018 pass-blocking grades and 30th in run blocking. Between Trent Brown and Antonio Brown, QB Derek Carr's supporting cast has gotten a big boost over the past couple of days.

The Titans have promoted TEs coach Arthur Smith to OC. Smith has been with Tennessee for 8 years, starting as a defensive assistant before moving to the other side of the ball. The Titans are aiming for continuity from the departed Matt LaFleur's scheme, but Smith is a complete unknown as a play-caller.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is inactive for tonight’s game against the Colts. Blaine Gabbert gets the start in a win-or-go-home situation. What a world.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is not expected to play against the Colts tonight, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. Mariota is listed as questionable and is expected to work out pregame before a final decision is made. But an independent spine specialist has reportedly warned the Titans that further damage to Mariota's nerve could impact his ability to throw long term. So it looks like it'll be Blaine Gabbert under center for tonight's must-win game. Expect a whole bunch of RB Derrick Henry when Tennessee has the ball.

The Rams have ruled S Lamarcus Joyner (ankle) out for Sunday's finale against the 49ers.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (stinger) is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Colts. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and will likely be a game-time decision. If Mariota is unable to go, it’ll be Blaine Gabbert under center. Avoid this situation in Week 17 fantasy lineups.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) returned to practice on Thursday. HC Mike Vrabel said afterward that Mariota was limited but called his day "encouraging." It looks like he has a shot to play in Sunday night's win-or-go-home game against the Colts. We'll get another update tomorrow.

 
 
 

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