Raiders

Raiders undrafted WR drawing rave reviews from Jon Gruden, Derek Carr

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Raiders undrafted WR drawing rave reviews from Jon Gruden, Derek Carr

The Raiders revamped their wide receiving corps this offseason, bringing in Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant and fifth-round draft pick Hunter Renfrow to help quarterback Derek Carr. 

Brown, Williams and Renfrow will get a lot of attention during organized team activities and minicamp, but there's another receiver who has impressed both head coach Jon Gruden and Carr early on in his NFL career.

Keelan Doss signed with the Raiders after going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis and has the size, ball skills and awareness to make it as a receiver in the NFL.

Gruden likes what he has seen from Doss so far.

"Yeah, we coached Doss in the Senior Bowl and really liked him," Gruden said Tuesday after the first day of OTAs. "I think he's smart. He's athletic and he's got size and I think he's going to be able to compete on special teams, as well. Plus he's from Alameda, so we had to get Doss."

It's a long road for an undrafted rookie to make it to the NFL and stick in the league, but Carr believes Doss is different than a lot of the undrafted rookies he's seen come through Oakland.

"Yeah, I think Keelan is going to be a good player," Carr said. "Obviously, he's a rookie, right? He's got a long way to go. But just watching him you can tell -- he works his tail off and it means something to him. We've had other guys come in here, I've seen undrafted free agents come in here and they are just like, 'Man, I'm in the NFL.' And they are posting pictures of them jogging in a jersey, but they don't really like football. You know? They don't really care. They are just trying to, I guess, show that they have a little influence, that they are a professional football player, when really they haven't made the team yet, so their not, you know? He is not that at all. He is someone, man he doesn't want this to just be a one-time stop. He wants to make a career out of this. And hopefully man, he works his tail off and he does make a career out of it. 

"But that's just the initial reaction I've gotten from him is that it means something to him. And you can win with that."

Doss had a productive career at UC-Davis, finishing his collegiate run with 321 catches for 4,069 yards and 28 touchdowns.

He was expected to be a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick, but a pectoral injury at the combine hurt his training for the 40-yard dash.

Doss impressed during his time at the Senior Bowl, drawing comparisons to a star AFC West receiver.

"The player he reminds of is Keenan Allen," Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Scott Bair. "That’s really high praise. You don’t just throw player comparisons out there. It’s rare with NFL teams. Everything has to line up, and I really feel like he’s a good comp for Keenan Allen. How he went undrafted, it really surprised me. We’re not privy to medical info, and he has some injuries dating back to high school, so I don’t know it that scared teams off. Outside of that, the Raiders got a steal.

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound receiver knows how to get open, can win in the red zone and is a polished route-runner. Perhaps the Keenan Allen comparison checks out.

[RELATED: New Raiders receiver Williams 'a technician' downfield]

While Doss has a long road ahead of him to make the 53-man roster, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make the team over some of the other receivers the club brought in this offseason and possibly contribute in 2019.

Raiders rookie Maxx Crosby savagely trolls Aaron Rodgers after big sack

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Raiders rookie Maxx Crosby savagely trolls Aaron Rodgers after big sack

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that wasn't the case Sunday at Lambeau Field. 

With the Raiders trailing the Packers 7-3 in the first quarter and needing a stop, rookie edge rusher Maxx Crosby got into the backfield and slammed Aaron Rodgers to the turf. After sacking the star quarterback, Crosby made sure to rub it in, mocking Rodgers' title belt celebration while the No. 12 lay on the ground.

Rodgers?! Rodgers?! Discount double check!

[RELATED: Report: Raiders plan to be buyers at trade deadline]

The Raiders entered the game at 3-2 and in the thick of the AFC West race. They'll need Crosby and the pass rush to continue to step up if they plan to make an honest run at the division title, though. 

NFL rumors: Raiders plan to be buyers before Oct. 29 trade deadline

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NFL rumors: Raiders plan to be buyers before Oct. 29 trade deadline

The Raiders entered Week 7 with a 3-2 record, and the AFC West is wide open after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap. So you know what that means -- it's time to buy.

With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, the Raiders have a few roster holes that need to be patched up if they do indeed plan to make a playoff run.

While wide receiver would appear to be a major area of need, the Raiders will look to bulk up their linebacking corps and pass-rush stable at the Oct. 29 deadline, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing sources.

After Vontaze Burfict's season-long suspension was upheld by the NFL, the Silver and Black suddenly find themselves quite thin at linebacker. Tahir Whitehead has been tasked with taking over as communicator, and Nicholas Morrow played well against the Bears in Burfict's absence, but the Raiders still need to acquire another capable linebacker in case they are forced into their base defense.

As for the pass rush, first-round draft pick Clelin Ferrell hasn't been the dominant force the Raiders had hoped. While Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa have played well, the Silver and Black need a bolstered pass rush if they plan to stay in the AFC West race.

[RELATED: Report: AB's $30 million grievance vs. Raiders hits snag]

Receiver is by far the Raiders' biggest hole, but they've already acquired Zay Jones and Trevor Davis, and unlikely want to part with a top draft pick in order to acquire a top-end talent on the outside.

The Raiders should be able to acquire a quality linebacker and pass rusher at an affordable price. If they're able to fill the holes at linebacker and pass rusher, the Silver and Black could be set up for a playoff run.