Keelan Doss wants to show he belongs with Raiders after whirlwind week

Keelan Doss wants to show he belongs with Raiders after whirlwind week

ALAMEDA -- It was a wild week for undrafted rookie receiver Keelan Doss. 

The "Hard Knocks" star was cut by the Raiders during cutdown day and chose to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad over the Raiders'. 

Then, Antonio Brown happened. As you're aware. the star receiver went nuclear after receiving fines for missing practice and a walk-through during his helmet grievance, which led to an altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. A subsequent fine for the Mayock dust-up that voided the guaranteed money in Brown's contract caused him to ask for and receive his release from the Raiders. 

With a spot on the 53-man roster open, the Raiders made a play to bring Doss back, but the UC Davis product initially rebuffed their offer, accepting more money from the Jaguars to stay in Jacksonville. The Raiders kept on Doss, though, and eventually gave the receiver a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary and Brown's spot on the 53-man roster. 

After a whirlwind week, the Alameda kid is happy to be home. 

"Crazy, you know?" Doss said Wednesday when asked about his week. "Just being back and forth from here and Florida. It's been a crazy week, but happy to be here, ready to contribute and go out there on Sundays and make plays."

Doss has become a celebrity due to his run on "Hard Knocks" as the undrafted, local kid. The Raiders are happy to have Doss back in the fold, and coach Jon Gruden is hoping everything works out now that Doss is back in Silver and Black. 

"Look he's not the first guy to get cut and put on practice squad," Gruden said Wednesday. "So let's not make this 'Hard Knocks' themed, all right? I mean, he's not the first receiver that we have cut or that any other team has cut and brought back to their 53. So now, what it is is what it is. Here's an opportunity and with some receivers beat up a little bit, he may get his chance this week."

"But it is a great story, but the reality is: This is part of the NFL," Gruden continued. "You have to take advantage of your opportunities when they come and I'll say this: We're the team that's given him his first shot in the NFL and his first shot on the active 53. So hopefully it all works out and it ends up to truly be a happy story for everyone." 

Doss also noted how special it was that the Raiders are the first team to give him a crack to prove he has NFL talent. 

"One-hundred percent, it means a lot," Doss said. "Coach Gruden, you know -- I'm just trying to make plays obviously and give the impression that I belong here. Just coming out here every day and just proving it."

Doss' rise to cult celebrity hasn't been lost on him, but with HBO exiting stage left, Doss is focused on the only thing that matters: sticking with the Raiders.

"The past like three days have been crazy," Doss said of people being interested in his story. "Obviously, it's been on the internet a lot. But I try not to pay to much attention because, you know me man, I just have to focus on my job and come out here and make plays."

[RELATED: Gruden directs all AB questions to Patriots amid lawsuit]

With Doss rebuffing the Raiders' first attempt to pry him away from Jacksonville, the question remains why he finally chose to return to the Raiders and take Brown's spot on the 53? As Gruden said, it comes down to who gives Doss the chance to prove he's an NFL player.

"Opportunity," Doss said. "Obviously, I have a good feel here and just ready to go. Like I said, I'm just happy to be back here and hopefully make plays on Sunday."

With J.J. Nelson nursing an ankle injury, Doss' time might Sunday when the Raiders face the Kasnas City Chiefs. Now, it's up to Doss to reward Oakland's faith. 

Raiders inform NFL draft prospect of parking-ticket history at combine


Raiders inform NFL draft prospect of parking-ticket history at combine

NFL Scouting Combine interviews can be harsh, inappropriate and even downright weird. Ross Blacklock's interview with the Las Vegas Raiders this week in Indianapolis was revelatory. 

The TCU defensive tackle told reporters Thursday that the Raiders informed him he had 37 parking tickets he didn't know about during his time in Fort Worth. 

Blacklock offered a compelling reason for his lack of knowledge on the subject: He claimed the TCU athletic department handled each ticket on his behalf.

"I don't know how they get that," Blacklock shrugged. 

Thirty-seven of anything is a stunning number, let alone when you're counting parking citations. It clearly took the Mike Mayock-led Raiders brain trust aback enough to prompt them to bring it up in an interview, one of 45 they're allowed to conduct during the week in Indianapolis. Those interviews are limited to 18 minutes, so you wonder what question(s) didn't make the cut if Blacklock's ticket history did.

[RELATED: Hurts' talent entices, but should Raiders take chance on QB?] 

Those citations made the Raiders scratch their heads, as you might find yourself doing, too. Alas, it's difficult to envision Blacklock's previous fines dampening teams' enthusiasm for the 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah ranked Blacklock No. 19 in his Top 50 and The Ringer's Danny Kelly slotted Blacklock at No. 38. The prospect didn't crack the first round of NBC Sports Bay Area's latest mock draft, but Blacklock likely won't have to wait longer than a day to hear his name called at the NFL draft in Vegas this April. 

Blacklock has talent, but the Raiders simply have bigger needs than along the interior of their defensive line to draft the former Horned Frog with one of two first-round picks. If the Silver and Black passes on the D-lineman, it won't be because of the parking tickets. 

NFL Draft 2020: Raiders should target these six players on Day 2

NFL Draft 2020: Raiders should target these six players on Day 2

All the talk surrounding the Raiders' 2020 NFL Draft plan revolves around their two first-round picks.

With picks No. 12 and No. 19, how will the Raiders build on the success of last year's draft class? Will they trade up for a quarterback? Take the best receiver available and whatever linebacker is left? Do what is necessary to put Isaiah Simmons in silver and black?

The questions are endless. But the Raiders' draft class truly will come together on Day 2 of the draft, when they have three third-round picks. That's enough ammo to move up into Round 2 or select three players who can contribute immediately to the up-and-coming Raiders. Yes, they could take a flier on Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm or try and develop the enticing talent that is Jalen Hurts, but they have many needs outside of quarterback. 

With the Raiders getting a good look at the best the draft has to offer this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, let's look at six Day 2 prospects for the Raiders to target.

Marlon Davidson, DE, Auburn

Davidson is fast rising so he likely will be gone by the time the Raiders go on the clock in Round 3.

The 6-foot-3, 303-pound defensive end has an impressive array of skills that most NFL teams would love to have on their roster. He has heavy hands and a quick first step. He played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme on The Plains but might be better suited for an interior role at the next level.

He's a high upside guy who has the ability to help the Raiders in one of their biggest areas of need.

K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State

The Raiders need more than one wide receiver. While they likely will land one of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs, the Silver and Black need more weapons for whoever the quarterback is.

This is a deep and talented wide receiver class, so the Raiders could go a number of ways.

I'll highlight Hill because he's a great route-runner with solid hands. He had a down senior season but was an explosive weapon for Dwayne Haskins two years ago.

He'd be a great addition as Gruden looks to build a more dynamic offense.

Troy Dye, LB. Oregon

We all know the Raiders need linebacker help. Whether they trade up to draft Simmons, take Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray or avoid going linebacker in Round 1, they need to build depth at the position. 

Dye was a four-year starter at Oregon, whose leadership helped keep the program from nosediving. 

He's an athletic, rangy linebacker with the explosiveness to be an impact NFL starter. He needs to work on his play processing and taking better angles in space.

Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State

The Spartan defensive end has an extremely high floor. He's a very competitive guy with a high motor who would thrive under Gruden.

Willekes has a variety of pass-rush moves and is a stout run defender. 

He racked up 47.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks during his career at Michigan State and would be a solid addition to the Raiders' defensive end rotation. 

James Proche, WR, SMU

Proche is a name that you don't hear a lot in this loaded class, but he could be the steal of the draft.

At 5-foot-10, the SMU slot receiver has big hands for his size (9 5/8). Those hands were golden during his time at SMU as Proche basically caught anything thrown in his zip code. He has no problem snagging balls at high velocity with one a hand or in the air or off balance.

He's not the fastest or strongest receiver, but he's a guy who could be a valuable weapon in a four-wide set.

[RELATED: Brady-to-Raiders becoming more realistic with latest rumors]

Davon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State

Hamilton is 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds. The Raiders are in need of a big body who can disrupt offenses up the middle.

He's an outstanding run defender and found success against constant double teams while at Ohio State.

His pass-rush skill needs some polishing, but you can't teach size or power. Hamilton has both and the quickness to boot.