Raiders GM Mike Mayock ranked Zay Jones high in 2017 NFL Draft prep

Raiders GM Mike Mayock ranked Zay Jones high in 2017 NFL Draft prep

The Raiders' receiving corps has been running on empty lately. They expected that area to be a strength going into the season with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams creating a dynamic 1-2 punch. 

That obviously didn't happen with Brown released one day before the season opener and Williams already sidelined with a foot injury. Oakland had to use a combination of recently acquired receiver Trevor Davis, rookie Hunter Renfrow and undrafted rookie Keelan Doss in its 24-21 Week 5 win over Chicago in London.

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has made yet another attempt to find quarterback Derek Carr a viable wide receiver. A source confirmed to NBC Sports California's Scott Bair on Monday that the Silver and Black sent a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Bills to acquire wideout Zay Jones

This move shouldn't come as a shock when looking at Mayock's affinity for Jones in the past. 

Prior to Mayock becoming the Raiders' GM right before the New Year, he spent years as an NFL draft analyst and took quite the liking to Jones ahead of the 2017 draft. Mayock came away from the Senior Bowl with a glowing review of Jones. 

"People thought he couldn't run because most of his offense was underneath. I'll tell you right now, he ran away from people at the Senior Bowl," Mayock said ahead of the draft. "He went from a third- or fourth-round selection to a high second-round because he trusted the process."

Jones led the North Team in the Senior Bowl with six receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown, which he caught from quarterback Nathan Peterman, who currently is on injured reserve for the Raiders. Mayock was so impressed with Jones, he ranked him ahead of two eventual star receivers going into the draft. 

Two weeks before the 2017 draft, Mayock ranked Jones as his No. 4 receiver behind Mike Williams, John Ross and Corey Davis. Tied for fifth, right behind Jones, were JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cooper Kupp. While Smith-Schuster made the Pro Bowl last season and Kupp ranks fourth in receiving yards (505) this season, Jones has struggled so far in the pros. 

The Bills selected Jones No. 37 overall, ahead of JuJu and Kupp, and the results haven't been too inspiring so far. Through 36 career games, Jones has 90 receptions for 1,037 yards and nine touchdowns. He only has seven receptions for 69 yards this season and is yet to record a TD. 

[RELATED: Jones trade is Raiders' latest attempt to improve WR corps]

Jones is the all-time NCAA Division-I leader in career receptions (399) and ranks 13th all-time in receiving yards (4,279). He was a star in college at East Carolina, though that hasn't translated to the pros yet. 

If anyone will give Jones a long look and boost his confidence, however, Mayock sure seems like the GM to do so.

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

ALAMEDA -- The start to Keelan Doss' NFL career has been unique, to say the least. 

After going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis, Doss was signed by the Raiders and impressed early on in OTAs and training camp. The Alameda native became a fan favorite during the Raiders' run on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but eventually he was cut and signed on the Jaguars' practice squad. 

Doss' time away from the Raiders didn't last long, as he was given a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary to take Antonio Brown's spot on the roster after the star receiver demanded his release before Week 1. 

The rookie wideout was active from Weeks 2-7, totaling six catches for 79 yards as the receiver-starved Raiders tried to reshape their offense on the fly. Doss showed some promise in games against the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but he has been inactive for the past four games, with newcomer Zay Jones and Marcell Ateman getting the nod to suit up. 

No player likes to sit on the sideline as his team battles for a playoff spot, but the rookie is taking everything in stride, focusing on getting better to earn his way onto the field. 

"I've just been in practice really just focusing on my game," Doss told NBC Sports Bay Area."The tools I know I can use when I do get in a position to play. Obviously it's tough just watching the team and everything, but at the end of the day I have to get better every day and that's what I continue to try to do."

"Just consistency, just every day," Doss continued. "I know my ability and what I can do. When I get an opportunity to go in I just have to continue to make plays like I have been and was when I was in the game."

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism

Not being able to contribute on Sundays has been tough, and his NFL journey has had more early twists and turns than most undrafted rookies. 

Still, Doss is happy to be a Raider and is taking each new curve with a positive attitude. 

"I couldn't make it up, you know what I mean?" Doss said about his first NFL season. "It's obviously unorthodox, but at the same time, I feel like God puts me in a position and I can handle it. I've enjoyed it. You've got to live in the moment, so that's what I try to do."

After three straight wins, the 6-4 Raiders will travel to New York on Sunday to face the Jets as they look to cement their foothold in the AFC playoff race. 

Doss will continue to hone his craft and be ready to make plays for the Silver and Black should they need him down the stretch. 

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

ALAMEDA – Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner stretched with his team to start Wednesday’s practice, a light session conducted without helmets.

The veteran cover man did some work during the portion open to the press, but he apparently didn’t do much after that.

He was formally considered a non-participant on the team’s practice report, which is an estimation considering the workout was only a walk-through.

The Raiders have moved lighter sessions to Wednesday, with intensity ratcheting up on Thursday and then down a bit Friday.

Coach Jon Gruden didn’t say much about Joyner’s health status after he missed a Week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals due to a hamstring injury from the previous game.

“He got in some work,” Gruden said. “… We weren’t doing much today, as you could see, in terms of full-speed work. We got a lot of reps today. I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to play, but we’ll see how it goes when we lather them up [Thursday].”

Nevin Lawson assumed Joyner’s role against Cincinnati and was solid in the high-priced veteran’s place.

The Raiders obviously need one of their defensive captains healthy as soon as possible, as they push to make a playoff run. It’s uncertain, though unlikely, that Joyner can come back to play the Jets.

Oakland would like him back the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs, which could be a showdown for AFC West supremacy.

David Sharpe wasn’t available with a calf strain, though starting right tackle Trent Brown continues to play through knee issues.

The Raiders conducted a walk-through practice Wednesday. Therefore, the following participation report is an estimation.

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism]

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (knee)