Raiders

Raiders promote guard; sign linebacker to practice squad

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Raiders promote guard; sign linebacker to practice squad

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have finally hit their roster limit. They played the first three games a man down, choosing not to fill the 53rd roster spot after they placed defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. on injured reserve before the regular season started.

They didn’t really need to fill that spot, considering their relatively good health and the fact that only 46 players can be active on game day.

The Raiders are getting thin along the offensive line, which is why they promoted rookie Denver Kirkland off the practice squad Wednesday afternoon. Kirkland is a versatile piece who can play guard or tackle.

The Raiders don’t have offensive tackles Menelik Watson and Austin Howard available right now due to injury, so Kirkland will strengthen the back end of the depth chart.

Also, linebacker Darnell Sankey was signed to the practice squad. Linebacker Korey Toomer terminated his practice squad contract and signed with the San Diego Chargers.

NFL draft: Josh Jacobs could be heading to Raiders to replace Marshawn Lynch

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USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES

NFL draft: Josh Jacobs could be heading to Raiders to replace Marshawn Lynch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marshawn Lynch's reported retirement was something that caught the attention of the top running back in the NFL draft.

“That’s crazy,” Alabama running back Josh Jacobs said on Wednesday. “He’s a legend. He's someone I definitely look up to, on and off the field.”

If the Raiders running back steps away for good, his career will end with 10,379 yards and 84 touchdowns rushing. He added another 2,214 yards of total offense with his receiving numbers, which includes nine touchdowns during his 11-season career.

“I like the effort he put into the game,” Jacobs said. “He runs like it means more than just football. He’s not complacent with just being in the league. He wants to go down as one of the greatest ever, and he brings that attitude to the game. Also, he keeps it fun.”

It is not out of the question the Raiders could tab Jacobs to replace Lynch. In addition to the No. 4 overall pick, the Raiders also have first-round selections at Nos. 24 and 27 – a fact with which Jacobs was already familiar.

“I don’t really think about it too much, I just let it play out," Jacobs said of the possibility of the Raiders selecting him on Thursday in the first round.

Jacobs (5-foot-10, 220 pounds) averaged 5.9 yards per rushing attempt during his three seasons at Alabama while sharing the duties with a talented group of backs during his time in college. Last season, Jacobs rushed for 640 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding 20 receptions for 247 yards and three TDs.

Although he did not made a pre-draft visit to Alameda, Jacobs said he had a lot of contact over the past couple months with coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock. He met with them at the NFL Scouting Combine, and has been in regular contact via phone.

Jacobs said he can envision himself fitting into the Raiders’ offense, going along with quarterback Derek Carr and an improved group of wide receivers, which now includes Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.

“They already have a great quarterback and, obviously, they’ve added some great additions at receiver,” Jacobs said. “So it’s about putting those little pieces together. It’s about fine-tuning things at this point. I feel like they’re a couple of games away from being great. They’re definitely going to make that step this year.”

2019 NFL Draft: Top prospects enjoyed meeting Raiders staff on visits

2019 NFL Draft: Top prospects enjoyed meeting Raiders staff on visits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Raiders gave draft prospects a glimpse of what the future holds for the organization when the 30 players made it to Alameda for their pre-draft visits.

“I loved that visit,” Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa said of his April 11 visit to meet with the Raiders. “It was really cool. They showed me what their setup is going to be in Vegas.”

The Raiders, who will move to tax-free Nevada for the 2020 season, own three first-round draft picks, beginning with the No. 4 overall selection.

Some of the top prospects on Wednesday said the visit to meet with the Raiders stood out because of general manager Mike Mayock, coach Jon Gruden and the coaching staff.

“Whenever you’re hanging out with coach Gruden and Mayock, it’s a pretty good time,” Bosa said. “They’re really interesting. They love football more than anybody I’ve ever met.”

University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver said Raiders defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who played 12 NFL seasons before retiring in 2005, made his trip memorable.

“The Raiders were my second visit, one of my more favorite visits,” Oliver said. “The D-line coach, coach Buckner, he and I have a special relationship.

“He’s as cool as a fan. I can say that coming straight from my heart, he’s as cool as a fan. I’d love working with him.”

Oliver is one of several options the Raiders could have at No. 4, depending on how the first three picks shake out. Quarterback Kyler Murray, Bosa and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams could be the first three players selected. If any of those players slip to No. 4, the Raiders could pounce.

Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen, another legitimate option for the Raiders, met with the club as one of his final pre-draft visits. Mayock watched film with Allen during his visit and broke down some of his game film.

“We watched some film together, good and bad clips of myself,” Allen said. “He taught me and showed me what I can improve on. What I do good, too.”

Many players were already back at the team’s facility when Allen visited. He said he had a memorable chat with newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown.

“He told me to just keep working and enjoy the moment and keep grinding until you retire from football,” Allen said.

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The New York Jets likely hold the key to the Raiders’ draft. It is uncertain whether Williams will be available after the Jets’ selection at No. 3. Williams visited the Raiders three weeks ago. He said his versatility will enable him to contribute wherever he ends up.

“I showed on the film I can play every position on the defensive line at an elite level,” Williams said. “The game has turned to a real passing game and me, as a defensive lineman, I’m a pass-rusher. I go get it. But I can also stop the run at an elite level.”