Jalen Ramsey could do great things for Raiders, Chris Simms believes

Jalen Ramsey could do great things for Raiders, Chris Simms believes

All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey in Silver and Black?

A blockbuster trade with the Jaguars would certainly help Oakland's secondary, and the Raiders reportedly are one of several teams that have made "substantive inquiries" about acquiring Ramsey from Jacksonville.

Ramsey is slated to play in the Jaguars' game against the Titans on Thursday night, so a trade clearly isn't imminent.

But NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms believes the No. 5 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft would be a perfect fit for the Raiders and explained why.

"I would love to see Jalen Ramsey with the Oakland Raiders," Simms said to NBC Sports Bay Area this week. "They could use that type of player. He's a difference-maker on that side of the ball, and I don't know if the Raiders defense right now has that difference-maker. There are some young guys that have the potential to be that down the road."

Simms called Ramsey the unquestioned best cornerback in the NFL, and said he's exactly what the Raiders need in the AFC West.

"He has the size and physicality to man up against Travis Kelce or a Michael Thomas-type guy, a big receiver who is physical," Simms said. "He can do that. He's covered Tyreek Hill as good as anybody I've seen the last two years. You're in the AFC West and you see Tyreek Hill twice a year. He can get on an island with Tyreek Hill and your defensive coordinator can go 'You know what? I'm good with that matchup. Let me figure out other ways to stop the rest of this Kansas City offense.'"

The Raiders just moved on from the Antonio Brown saga, and while Ramsey comes with his own drama, Simms doesn't see the cornerback causing the same problems that Brown did.

"[Ramsey's] a transcendent player and I think he can do a lot of great things for the Raiders," Simms said. "Plus, he's got that Raiders personality. He's not Antonio Brown. Let's not put them in the same box. Antonio Brown is ... I don't even know what to say ... a total loose cannon right now and it's amazing he's getting away with some of the things he's getting away with."

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If the Raiders want Ramsey, they likely will have to part with one of their two 2020 first-round picks, and if Simms were general manager in Oakland, he'd trade for Ramsey today.

Raiders fullback Alec Ingold excited for Green Bay homecoming vs. Packers


Raiders fullback Alec Ingold excited for Green Bay homecoming vs. Packers

ALAMEDA -- Alec Ingold grew up in the shadow of Lambeau Field, a high school quarterback in Green Bay, Wisc., with the slow drip of Packers fever coursing through his veins.

He grew up, like every boy in the area, idolizing first Brett Favre and then Aaron Rodgers. He felt the elation of the Pack's 2010 Super Bowl run, a championship jaunt that felt long overdue for one of the best quarterbacks to ever grip the pigskin.

Fast forward to 2019 and that Bay Port High School signal-caller traded in his No. 9 for a No. 45, and swapped his love of the green and yellow to bleed silver and black as the Raiders rookie fullback.

Ingold joined the Silver and Black as an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin this season and made the roster with his performance in rookie minicamp, OTAs and training camp. Early on, Ingold has become a valuable part of the Raiders' revamped run game, helping clear holes for fellow rookie Josh Jacobs.

"We loved Ingold at the Senior Bowl," Gruden said Wednesday after practice. "We stamped a bunch of Raiders stickers on his helmet. He was really ticked off he didn't get drafted. And if I've done anything right since I've been here coaching the Raiders, it was the recruiting call I made to Ingold. I'm really happy about getting him here.

"He played quarterback in high school in Green Bay. This is a big game for him. I'm trying to get some video of him throwing the ball but all I have is him handing off."

Ingold and the Raiders will head north in Week 7 to face a Packers team reenergized behind new head coach Matt LaFleur. His friends, family, neighbors and probably some former high school rivals will be in attendance to watch Rodgers and the NFC North-leading Pack take on the 3-2 Raiders, who have found new life behind a power running game made stronger by a Green Bay high school legend.

"I think the big deal for me is playing in front of the community that helped me grow up and love football," Ingold said of his return to Green Bay. "The Packers -- it's cool, but I think the people in the stands and the people I grew up with that are going to be able to watch and NFL game and see me go out there, it's going to be a thankful moment for me to thank them and show them how we play football out here in Oakland."

There will be a number of people cheering on the former Bay Port High star Sunday at Lambeau Field, hoping the Wisconsin high school legend throws a couple thunderous blocks to spring Jacobs and perhaps even gets a carry himself.

Of course, Packer football is a way of life up north, so the love for Ingold might slowly die down if the Silver and Black get into a fistfight with Green Bay's favorite sons. The Packer pride running through the veins of his former neighbors is something Ingold understands. That deep-seated love for the Packers is what first made him pick up a football and set him on his path to Oakland, a journey that's next step comes on the hallowed grounds his heroes made famous.

"I think everyone growing up [in Green Bay] loves football and loves the Packers," Ingold said. "It's pretty cool to have a community that rallies around something so unified. It's a big thing for kids to grow up and see these Packers in the grocery store and you stop and stare and it's really cool. To be able to have that go full circle is huge for me, just knowing that's where I came from and just to be able to bring it full circle is going to mean a lot."

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As a junior and senior in high school, Ingold led Bay Port to a 21-3 record before becoming a Badger and helping Wisconsin accumulate a 42-12 record during his four years in Madison.

He'll return home looking to do his part in getting the Raiders to 4-2 before the final leg of their five-game road trip, a feat that seemed like a fairytale four weeks ago.

So, what did Gruden say to convince the quarterback-turned-fullback from Wisconsin to head to the Bay Area and don silver and black?

"He didn't really have to say much," Ingold said. "He brought back the connection we had at the Senior Bowl and, you know, growing up, I knew him from his coaching days in Green Bay and I was taught all the things he did for that program So, it didn't take much for him to get me here."

And what about the game film of him throwing the ball for Bay Port?

"I'll have to pull it up sometime, we'll see," Ingold said with a chuckle.

Raiders' Kolton Miller quietly confident while playing best football

Raiders' Kolton Miller quietly confident while playing best football

ALAMEDA – Kolton Miller isn’t an excitable sort. The Raiders left tackle is a soft-spoken guy, with neither actions nor words reaching a fever pitch. Trash talk won’t bait him into fits of rage, and hyped matchups barely raise his pulse.

One piece of advice: don’t mistake quiet for timid.

The No. 15 overall pick in last year's NFL draft carries an air of confidence with him now, a strident belief that he can beat and compete with the best.

He has the stats to back it up. Miller has allowed just nine quarterback pressures through five games despite facing Bradley Chubb, Frank Clark and Khalil Mack already this season.

“I am gaining confidence game after game,” Miller said on this week’s Raiders Talk podcast. “I continue to overemphasize the details because, once you get that down, you can just go play and have fun with it.”

Miller wasn’t having much fun as a rookie. He played hurt most of the season, fighting through a Grade 2 MCL sprain suffered in Week 4 and aggravated a few times later in the year. He never missed a start, playing 1,067 offensive snaps. They weren’t all pretty. He allowed 16 sacks and 65 total pressures. Miller continued to fight, though, and actually gained confidence from the experience competing with highly touted pass rushers at far less than full strength.

He knew gaining size and strength this offseason would put him in prime position to make a quantum leap in his second season. He felt an obligation last year and this to validate his selection last year at No. 15 overall. He wanted to reward those who had immense faith in him.

“That was a huge thing for me last year,” Miller said. “I really wanted to play well for this team and the people that believed in me. I wasn’t going to let injury or setbacks stop me. I think it’s a huge year for all of us to prove ourselves and make a name for ourselves. I’m doing things for the Raider Nation. I hope to make those guys proud.”

Miller showed great improvement in training camp, which has carried over into this regular season. He was the biggest question along an offensive line full of stable forces (when healthy and available), but he has proven a reliable part of a real team strength.

“[Kolton] is playing better than he’s ever played,” Gruden said. “I think [left guard Richie] Incognito and the stability we’ve had at left guard has helped him. He’s stronger, he’s better versed in the offense.”

His two sacks allowed came against Minnesota, a rough day at the office for everyone in silver and black.

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Miller and Incognito have been excellent against the run game, forming a formidable left flank. The offensive line has been solid all around, and a driving force earning respect with every strong showing. The men who comprise this front believe they should rank among the very best.

“If we continue to improve, we should be in the running for sure,” Miller said. “…I’m really excited for this group.”