Ryan Switzer

How Raiders' Ryan Switzer trade impacts their receiving corps

How Raiders' Ryan Switzer trade impacts their receiving corps

ALAMEDA – Ryan Switzer wasn’t here long. The second-year receiver spent 121 days representing the Raiders, a short stint bookended by trades that moved him from Dallas to Oakland and now on to Pittsburgh.

The Raiders gave up second-round disappointment Jihad Ward to get Switzer, and received next year’s fifth-round pick for Switzer and a sixth-rounder on Monday morning.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Dwayne Harris won the job returning kickoffs and punts, making Switzer expendable.

“We had an opportunity to get a good pick for him,” Gruden said. “The move was done help the Raiders. He’s a good player who is going to do well. Dwayne Harris is going to do well for us also. Special teams is a big part of being a fourth or fifth receiver. That was the case again this year.”

Switzer’s tenure here started well. Gruden lavished praise on him during the offseason program, and it jived with his early training camp performance. He cooled as camp went on and didn’t separate himself in the return game. That got him shipped out.

That thins out a competitive position group some, and changes the dynamics of who will likely make the squad. Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant and Harris are mortal locks. Johnny Holton’s special teams prowess gives him a leg up. They could stay at five, or push for a sixth. Griff Whalen is out of that mix now. He has turf toe and will be out a few weeks, but was placed on injured reserve. It seems likely he'll reach an injury settlement with the team. Marcel Ateman could be in play for a spot as well, but doesn't play inside much. 

Seth Roberts has worked almost exclusively in the slot, but has been behind Whalen and Switzer this summer. He played extensive snaps on Friday against Green Bay, and will play a lot on Thursday in Seattle. He has already received a $2 million bonus, and is set to make a $2.25 million salary. The Raiders could look to move him in trade, but that remains uncertain at this time.

“Seth did some good things,” Gruden said. “The ball didn’t go his way but he was open a few times. He did a good job blocking and running some routes. It was good to see him out there.”

Gruden made the move now because Harris had won the return job – more likely, he always had it – and the Raiders were able to get something in return.

This is his second trade with the Steelers this year. Gruden acquired Bryant for a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

“I think he’s a good player who deserves an opportunity,” Gruden said. “We wanted to help him get going learning a new offense (in Pittsburgh).”

Switzer acknowledged the trade on social media, ready to move closer to his West Virginia roots after setting up shop in the East Bay with his wife.

https://twitter.com/Switz/status/1034166862383276033

Raiders trade Ryan Switzer to Steelers for 2019 draft pick

Raiders trade Ryan Switzer to Steelers for 2019 draft pick

UPDATE (12:21pm PT on Monday): The Raiders announced that they have acquired a 2019 fifth-round draft pick for wide receiver Ryan Switzer. Oakland will also send their 2019 sixth-round pick to Pissburgh as part of the deal.

***

The Ryan Switzer era in Oakland did not last long.

The Raiders are finalizing a trade that will send the wide receiver to the Steelers, according to multiple national reports.

[BAIR: Raiders 53-man roster projection entering final week of 2018 preseason]

The Silver and Black acquired Switzer in April when they shipped Jihad Ward to the Cowboys.

Dallas selected Switzer in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.

More to come...

Jon Gruden, Raiders seeking solid third option behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson

Jon Gruden, Raiders seeking solid third option behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson

ALAMEDA -- Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson are locked into the Raiders starting lineup. They have been both dynamic and steady during training camp.

Receivers behind them on the depth chart haven’t been so strong.

Head coach Jon Gruden wants better from those guys.

“Hopefully someone can step up and will clearly emerge as the third receiver,” Gruden said Monday after practice. “… We need somebody to step up in that room this week.”

The Raiders will run a game-like practice week heading into Friday’s exhibition against the Green Bay Packers, and regulars will play an extended stretch.

Game performance could lift someone above the rest. The third receiver typically works in the slot, a spot Ryan Switzer manned during the offseason program and early in camp.

Griff Whalen has taken that spot over the last week.

Martavis Bryant is the most talented receiver, maybe in the entire group, but has been slow to absorb the offense and learn multiple receiver positions. Gruden has called him out on that, and has him working primarily with the second and third units.

There will be a competitive battle for receiver jobs, but it’s expected that Bryant and Switzer will end up taking control of snaps behind Cooper and Nelson. That isn’t guaranteed, however. Gruden wants more consistency and production from his wideouts.

“There has been some good and some, I don’t want to say bad, but there have been some ups and downs typical in training camp,” Nelson said. “Sometimes guys come out of the blocks fast and then slow down. Sometimes start slow and then pick it up. The main thing is being consistent.

“Keep reminding them that you can’t let the roller coaster get to you. You’re going to have good days and bad ones. You’re going to run good routes and bad routes. You have to continue to improve and continue to grind. If you do that, you’ll get the results you want.”

The Raiders need more from the slot, which could be an important role with threats on the outside. The competition there is an important one that quarterback Derek Carr is watching closely.

“Yeah, a couple of them are new, fighting for that spot. A couple have been banged up. So, I think we’re all sitting there excited to see what happens,” Carr said. “They’re all, I think, healthy. We’ll see. I think they’re all mentally ready, physically ready. Hopefully come game time, we can sit there and we can evaluate that spot. Because, obviously it’s important.

"When you have guys like Martavis or [Amari Cooper] Coop or Jordy on the outside, you have Jared [Cook] on the inside, someone is hopefully going to get a good matchup on the other side and in the slot, wherever we put them. We have to figure that out and it’ll be exciting. I’m just excited to watch how that goes this week, preparation-wise and then in the game.”