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Raiders roster could see several undrafted additions

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Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Jack Del Rio has a counterpoint — and a fair one — to the talk that the Raiders have built a talented roster from which it will be tough to make cuts.

“There are a few undrafteds that have a chance to make the roster,” Del Rio said after the Raiders’ 23-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks to close the preseason. “If you have a really stacked roster, that’s typically not the case.”

While true, the Raiders do have a better roster than at any point in years past and the undrafted players with a shot speaks more to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s knack for uncovering some hidden gems.

At least two undrafted rookies look to be locks to make the team when the Raiders whittle down to 53 players by Saturday’s 1 p.m. deadline.

Jalen Richard has impressed coaches throughout training camp even with him missing two weeks with a knee injury and he figures to find a spot in the running back room.

Darius Latham has flashed throughout the four preseason games and has the look of a player who could immediately become a part of Oakland’s defensive line rotation.

“I feel like I came in right away and fit in,” said Latham, who added that he won’t particularly feel nervous waiting for news on the roster.

James Cowser is another undrafted player in the mix as a defensive end/outside linebacker. He forced a safety in the Seattle loss and might’ve made up for the past couple of weeks when he didn’t make his presence felt.

“I thought he started out really fast and then he was, maybe, not quite in the forefront of things,” Del Rio said. “He made a couple nice plays on special teams. He showed up a little bit on defense. He’s got awareness. He’s an intelligent football player, so I think he definitely put his best foot forward.”

One of the more difficult discussions that will take place will involve the receiver position. If the Raiders keep five, either Johnny Holton or K.J. Brent would be the guy.

Holton adds special teams value and speed and averaged 29.5 yards on four kickoff returns.

“I feel like I’m going against myself,” Holton said of the competition between he and Brent. “I’ve got to do good. I’m not worried about anybody else.”

Brent has more polish as a receiver and led the team with 113 receiving yards this preseason.

“I think he’s done a nice job for us,” Del Rio said of Brent. “We’ll just see how it all shakes out.”

* Running back George Atkinson III finished the preseason fifth in the NFL with 191 yards and his three touchdowns tied for the league lead.

Atkinson’s 10.1 yards per carry was tops among those with more than four carries and his kick return for a touchdown was one of just five in the preseason across the league.

Where does that put his roster chances? Still not great.

Atkinson is behind DeAndre Washington and Richard at running back and returner, largely because of ball security issues. A dropped pass and a fumble against Seattle highlighted that.

“It was a little up and down and he knew that,” Del Rio said of Atkinson’s final audition. “He was pressing a little bit but I kept encouraging him to just keep going to the next play.”

Atkinson still has practice squad eligibility and his flashes this exhibition season should at least land him a spot there if he doesn’t make the Raiders — or another NFL team’s — 53-man roster.

* Washington finished the preseason as the Raiders’ leader with nine receptions and could see a big role coming in for Latavius Murray in some passes situations. Murray had 41 catches last year, but for just 232 yards and the Raiders could use some more big plays out of the backfield in the passing game.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Morilla_00

    That’s crazy, I figured it would be a hard cut or somethimg

  • as bad as the palmer trade

  • Bradford’s 40.5 QBR is 4th-worst (min. 30 starts) since he entered the league in 2010.

    Only Gabbert, Henne and Sanchez have been worse.

  • 24

    Worked out perfect for the Eagles after all that Bradford tantrum crap he threw.

  • 24

    Palmer is way better than Bradford.

    I’ll give him that.

  • Alex7

    Vikings have a stacked roster with 7 first round picks last 4 years,
    And won the division last year.
    And have a GOAT at RB and top half defense.
    And a top OC and a QB coach with history with Sam.

    You have to make that trade.

  • SaintKaufman

    Damn, worse than TP’s?? Say no more.

  • raiderfanmikep

    From 8/27 :
    Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told KPIX 5 that Lott signed an agreement on Friday to spend the next 90 days working on a stadium plan. Lott and his group want to buy the coliseum site. An appraiser is working on how much the land is worth.

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/08/27/diehard-raiders-fans-riding-on-ronnie-lotts-plan-to-keep-team-in-oakland/

    so 90 days put them towards the end of Sept So Vegas could have approved the stadium and end up being decided at owners meeting in Jan. Vegas will get the stadium with or without the Raiders but if the NFL does want Mark to sell to a minority interest as well as keep the team in Oakland Lott needs a really good deal for Mark and the City. Mark could say “thanks but no thanks” and push for the votes for Vegas till the Jan Owners Meeting

  • Congrats, pop. I wish him well

  • 24

    The Vkings kicked our butt last year and they played great on all levels so its hard to argue.

  • CVRaider

    Bradford just got better with AP behind him. Might be the best thing to happen in his career.

  • Alex7

    True, but he did have some awful years in Cincy, which is why they drafted Dalton. The Vikings roster is stacked, though, nothing like our team when we got Palmer.

  • inonewordraider

    Best arm talent in nfl, but after seeing cook thur wish he was as fearless

  • 24

    Lott is trying to C*** block

  • min 30 starts

  • Alex7

    And Norv Turner. And top D.

  • inonewordraider

    A’s lease runs till when again?

  • R8RCatDave

    I think the “man” sold it

  • SaintKaufman

    Yeah, but they had Neiko Thorpe on their team so…..

  • Alex7

    I don’t think carr tied Marinos touchdown record for first two years by being overly careful though, right?

  • SaintKaufman

    So you’re saying TP has a chance??

  • inonewordraider

    James cowser waived

  • raiderfanmikep

    i think Hard cut.. MCL tears seporating the knee and pulling his leg out of so its like at a right angle freaking everyone out.. the trainer moves the leg and places it back in position to prevent any further damage to the knee structure

  • Alex7

    True, doesn’t the gear belong to the team?

  • 24

    He didnt tie it…hes 2nd on thr list to Marino and Marino still leads by a decent margin

  • inonewordraider
  • CVRaider

    Man I love college football! Seeing the Big House at Michigan, the band playing the fight song, it gets my juices flowing.
    USC vs Bama later today and of course the Raiders next week. Life just got better!

  • aig-raiders

    Arians gets the bulk of credit but Arian is also the guy that invested his future in re-signing Palmer as well.

  • Alex7

    He’s been on some awful awful teams with no receiver talent in St. Louis. He looked like an average NFL quarterback last season in Philly and should be league average again with Minnesota

  • 24

    TP for my bunghole

  • R8RCatDave

    Thief! !!

  • 24

    9 more years

  • Teabag McKenz

    Referring to QBR instantly destroys ones credibility.

  • Cowser cut.

    Just say no to 26 year old rookies

  • Alex7

    Hopefully he gets a chance to bulk up and get quality reps on our PS

  • SaintKaufman

    LOL!

  • 24

    All good…practice squad

  • willy91137

    New post

  • Teabag McKenz

    Yet they didn’t.

    Once again, more proof McGloin has no trade value.

  • aig-raiders

    I stand corrected. There are 2 things Bradford is consistent with, Bottom QBR and injury.

  • aig-raiders

    Vikes LT is very weak. Wont be long before Brad goes down with injury.

  • R8RCatDave

    2 year out

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    lol!!! Just anxious brother…anyways, stateside at the moment..

  • aig-raiders

    qb stats over inflated in a Chip Kelly spread offense. Should keep that in mind. Even with that offense and better talent, Bradford led an offense to avg 23.6 pts per game….exactly the same type of production McG had in his 6 games in his rookie year w no talent vs 5 yr starter. So I’d say that stat is not impressive by any means.

  • R8RCatDave

    Dolphins release Chimdi

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Thanks!

  • MEX_GHOST

    LOL @ In prison.

  • MEX_GHOST

    Agree. But theres always a bad game or bad luck.

  • Guest123
  • Bands unfortunately still suffer and likely fizzle out faster …good ones too…no cash is still no cash..