The Raiders added depth to an already sturdy tight end group by signing Luke Willson on Friday afternoon, adding fire to what should be a competitive position group throughout the offseason and training camp.
Willson isn’t guaranteed one of the three (or four, maximum) available spots on September’s 53-man roster, but he’ll challenge for one if he finds previous form following a down year. He was an effective low-volume target with the Seattle Seahawks, but didn’t pan out with the Detroit Lions in 2018.
Standing 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, Willson can be an effective blocker and will surely be in the mix on special teams.
Willson joins a position group that already includes Lee Smith, Derek Carrier, Darren Waller and Paul Butler. Jared Cook signed with the New Orleans Saints earlier this week, and Waller will be given a crack at his receiving role. Don’t rule out the Raiders selecting a tight end early, or at some point in this year’s NFL draft.
With up to four roster spots available, the established Willson could pay dividends, or push Carrier to be more impactful on offense.
As a side note, Willson is from Windsor, Canada. The Raiders are in talks to play an exhibition game north of the border against the Green Bay Packers.