Raiders

Raiders sign D.J. Swearinger and Dion Jordan, place Karl Joseph on IR

Raiders sign D.J. Swearinger and Dion Jordan, place Karl Joseph on IR

The Raiders have signed to two veterans to fortify a depleted defense.

They formally announced the additions of safety D.J. Swearinger and defensive end Dion Jordon on Saturday, hoping these imports can fill in for fallen Raiders.

Karl Joseph was placed on injured reserve Saturday in one corresponding move, lost for the season after injuring his foot while securing a 26-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers with a last-second interception.

The Raiders played down two defensive ends Thursday night with Josh Mauro out temporarily and Arden Key done for the year with a broken foot. He had surgery and was formally placed on IR Thursday. Linebacker Quentin Polling was promoted from the practice squad for that game and waived Saturday to make room for Jordan.

Joseph’s loss is significant. He played virtually every snap this season, coming into his own in his second season under Paul Guenther. Joseph was a solid box safety and run defender, someone who could also play deep. That was clear when he closed out each game of this two-game Raiders winning streak.

He knocked down a Matt Stafford pass that beat the Detroit Lions on Sunday and intercepted Rivers on Thursday to end a Chargers comeback attempt.

Joseph finishes his season with 48 tackles -- including a career-high four for a loss -- as well as four passes defensed and an interception that could be his last act as a Raider. The 2016 first-round pick is set for unrestricted free agency this offseason after the Raiders decided against picking up his fifth-year option.

The 26-year-old has been a quality starter throughout his career, but the Raiders were considering trading him last year and could go in a different direction at his position. Time will tell on that front, but we know for certain he was a valued contributor this season starting to find his professional footing as a hard hitter and a cover man.

Curtis Riley has been the team’s third safety, but it’s likely Swearinger could step in and start if he quickly picks up the defensive system.

[RELATED: Richard thriving in role as Raiders' resident spark plug]

Meanwhile, Jordan is a low-risk signing with a possibly high reward. The 2013 No. 4 overall NFL draft pick has been a bust, due to ineffectiveness and issues with substances of abuse. Jordan has been suspended multiple times since turning pro, missing four games in 2014 and all 16 in 2015. iJordan was suspended for a third time this May for using Adderall, missing the first 10 weeks of the season.

The 26-year-old reportedly is sober and in great shape, with the raw talent to be a quality contributor the Raiders desperately need up front.

Raiders' Rodney Hudson ranked among best interior linemen in ESPN poll

Raiders' Rodney Hudson ranked among best interior linemen in ESPN poll

The Raiders have seen massive roster turnover over the past few seasons since coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock took over control of the organization.

But one stalwart throughout the adapting lineup has been veteran center Rodney Hudson. And with good reason, as ESPN recently ranked Hudson as the sixth-best interior offensive lineman in the NFL.

Anyone who has followed the Raiders over the past half-decade can tell you that Hudson has been an impeccable leader of the team's entire offensive linemen, helping run the offense along with quarterback Derek Carr.

[RELATED: Bill Callahan's 'dumbest team in America' rant sealed his Raiders fate]

Hudson has been especially proficient in pass protection, where he ranked either first or second every season in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grades from 2014-19. The Florida State product also came in at No. 99 on PFF's All-Decade top 101.

Hudson signed a three-year, $33.75 million extension with the Raiders in Aug. of 2019, making him the highest-paid center in the NFL. Given all the evidence above, Hudson clearly has earned it with his play for the Silver and Black.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Raiders' Henry Ruggs had lowest drop rate among first-round receivers

Raiders' Henry Ruggs had lowest drop rate among first-round receivers

Henry Ruggs had plenty of qualities that warranted being the first wide receiver off the board in April's draft.

Top-of-the-line speed, eye-popping athleticism and solid production at one of the nation's best collegiate programs made Ruggs an easy choice for Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden.

Pro Football Focus provided more evidence to support Ruggs' case, as he ended his time at Alabama with the lowest drop rate among the six wideouts taken in this year's first round.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The speedster averaged 19.5 yards per touch over his junior season, making the most of every opportunity with the Crimson Tide in 2019. Although he caught just 40 passes last season, seven went for touchdowns, with Ruggs adding a 75-yard touchdown run (pass was caught behind the line of scrimmage) during a win over New Mexico State.

[RELATED: Would Raiders have won SB XXXVII if Robbins had played?]

Over his entire career in Tuscaloosa, 24 of his 98 receptions resulted in touchdowns.

The Raiders will need Ruggs' sure hands right away, as quarterback Derek Carr hopes to get the Raiders off to a strong start in the franchise's inaugural season in Las Vegas.