New Raiders TE Cook sees similarities between Carr, Rodgers

New Raiders TE Cook sees similarities between Carr, Rodgers

Derek Carr was first called “Baby A-Rod” years ago. Former Raiders receiver James Jones created the nickname. It hasn’t stuck, but comparing Derek Carr to future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still a thing.

Jones should know. He played eight seasons with Rodgers in Green Bay. He spent Carr’s rookie season in Oakland, and practiced with him as a collegian.

There are similarities. Accuracy, arm strength, mobility and smarts are all shared traits. Cool under pressure and unwavering confidence, too.

Jones isn’t the only one who sees it. Jared Cook seconded that motion.

The new Raiders tight end spent last season in Green Bay, and was one of Rodgers’ favorite targets. Carr stole him away with a solid recruiting effort backed by a solid two-year contract offer.

Cook knew he could work with his second straight top quarterback even before signing up in Oakland. He and Carr had a private film study session during Cook’s free-agent visit, and it became clear that Carr and Rodgers saw the game in a similar way.

“They know the offense and that’s really important for a quarterback, especially a young quarterback is to know the moving pieces of what’s going on around you,” Cook said after Tuesday’s OTA session. “Number two would probably be ball placement and the way that the pass comes out is also imperative for your receivers to kind of have that rapport with you and know how you’re going to throw the ball in certain situations away from a defender. And he does a really good job with that, especially being such a young quarterback. I’ve played with older guys and they don’t know how to have that right touch to get the ball to the position where the receiver needs it. D.C. has that down.”

Cook also said Carr and Rodgers share an ability to read coverages on the move and throw a pass where only the receiver can catch it.

The veteran tight end has spent this offseason being friendly to his new quarterback in the pattern, trying to grasp exactly how Carr wants routes run.

“That makes my job easy, especially because he’s really fast so I can miss a little bit and he can make it look right,” Carr said. “When we sat there and watched film and I talked to him about the different things that he can do for us and help us, it didn’t feel like it was a recruiting thing, it felt more like we’re just getting ready for the season, if that puts it into perspective.”

Cook has fit right in since joining the Raiders, trying to assimilate into a new locker room culture and an offense in need of receiving weapons at tight end.

“He’s such a pro and a guy that wants to do things right that the more he’s around meetings, out at practice and understands what we’re looking for in the system, he’ll just continue to grow and grow,” Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing said. “He’s one of those guys that he wants you to paint a picture for him of how you want it done and then he’s going to do his best to replicate that picture. We’re excited about where he’s at this offseason and expect a lot of fun things in the future.”

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

The Raiders hope Rodney Hudson plays every single offensive snap in 2019. He might be the league’s best center, and is the unquestioned leader along the offensive front.

They need a Plan B, even if they never hope to use it. Jon Feliciano was the primary reserve at guard and center, leaving a void upon signing with the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Devey will fill it. The former Kansas City Chief signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday, the team announced, adding depth and versatility to an overhauled front.

Devey spent parts of five NFL seasons with New England, the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, primarily as a reserve guard. He played more center over the past two seasons, and has some tackle work on his resume. Devey finished last season on injured reserve with a pectoral issue

Offensive line coach Tom Cable prizes versatility, especially with a need on the inside. Second-year pro Brandon Parker is expected to be a swing tackle.

Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will be starting tackles, with Hudson at center. Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good look like starting guards at this time.

[RELATED: Raiders GM Mike Mayock explains the value of important pro day tour]

Devey was clean cut Thursday when signing with the Raiders, but he rocked a pretty serious mullet last season in Kansas City.

Raiders GM Mike Mayock explains the value of important pro day tour


Raiders GM Mike Mayock explains the value of important pro day tour

General manager Mike Mayock and his traveling Raiders band are on a college pro day tour.

They were at Alabama on Tuesday, Ohio State on Wednesday and will be at Kentucky on Friday, connecting with elite NFL draft prospects worthy of the Silver and Black’s No. 4 overall selection. Coaches and scouts have shuffled in and out, which the GM personally visits prestigious schools important to this year’s Raiders draft.

Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Dwayne Haskins, and Kentucky’s Josh Allen are the main attractions, but the Raiders are keeping a close eye on everyone at these big-name schools.

The Raiders have watched game film on all of them and evaluated NFL combine workouts. They have met with several and done homework on those under consideration. Mayock’s pouring over tape day and night preparing for his first NFL draft as an NFL general manager.

They know these prospects well, but Mayock still sees advantages in going to pro days himself.

“I think it’s a couple different things,” Mayock said Wednesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “When you’re in person you get a better feel. You can watch all the tape in the world, which we do, but when you’re here in person you sometimes get a better feel for their movement ability. You get a better understanding for how they interact with each other, with the coaches. I’m big on collecting information.”

Mayock didn’t see Williams or Bosa do any on-field work. Both guys stood behind excellent combine stats and bowed out of pro-day drills. According to Maiocco, Allen will follow suit and sit out during drills at Kentucky's pro day Friday. 

“We’re seeing more and more of the top 10 or top 20 guys who are electing not to work out,” Mayock said. “To be honest with you, if you have a couple years of tape and a full combine workout, we ought to be able to evaluate him.”

The Raiders will conduct a private workout with Williams so defensive coordinator Paul Guenther can see him up close. Such an exercise will happen with other prospects the Raiders are considering throughout the draft, especially with their four valuable selections in the top 35 overall.

The Raiders were still able to check in with Bosa, believed to sit high or on top of their draft board. Kentucky’s up next, where the Raiders will keep an eye on several prospects including a host of defensive backs. Allen will be a focus despite not doing anything at Wildcats pro day. He has done enough already. That includes a decision to return for his senior season, which Mayock believes paid big dividends.

He has moved near the top of most draft boards following a season where he had 88 tackles, including 21.5 for a loss, 17 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

[RELATED: NFL insiders believe Raiders could be most improved in 2019]

“He’s a talented edge rusher,” Mayock said. “I think most of the league’s very aware of him. He put some weight on this year and carries it well. I think he’s kind of a testament to coming back to school as a senior. I think he enhanced his draft status immeasurably coming back bigger, stronger faster and having the kind of year he had.”