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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.

  • r8dercain

    Feeling good about it.
    https://youtu.be/BLSCfh1pKgA

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    He did, cbut no one knew what it was.
    Palmer and Brandon Myers played sandlot football.

  • inonewordraider

    Al left oakland for LA

  • 24

    Bradford is the most overrated QB ever now. Between where he was drafted, the contracts hes received and now the trade value…damn

  • Tony Rasmussen

    Ha, also on Carlin’s AM/FM, something like: “And, here’s a partial score,:Stanford, 27…”

  • 24

    Agreed but then who would play weak side?

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Myers….good kid, called his mom on Sunday…but dang…that was ugly times.

    Which reminds me, time to make a joke about MR’s sister.

  • Rifflicks

    he doesn’t block….even his father was on him about it

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    SNL too.

  • 24

    Hell put Calhoun there, try anyone.

  • r8dercain

    It’s called a move of desperate intention..
    They house was on fire so they ran a got a cup of water to pour on it..

  • Skewlboy

    Vikings could have gotten Mcgloin at a cheaper price

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Cowser could play both inside MLB positions at once.

  • 24

    Cards improved with Arians more than anything

  • 24

    Hah ok then

  • 24

    Well…that house is still on fire haha

  • 24

    And hes looked at as a God in here

  • Rifflicks

    God ….I never thought it possible but you just made Rik/Stooge of the West and R8der4evr look semi-intelligent.
    Outstanding in your Field…(of organically grown Ignorance)

  • inonewordraider

    U think mcgloin is as good as sam bradford?

  • 24

    So for many on here who think Bridgewater is crap and not the future, I’m guessing you think Bradford makes the Vikings better now?

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Per Dakota, at 1:01 PM today Mc Gloin will be free to sign with any team he wants…

  • willy91137

    Maybe someday we can trade Cook for a 1 and 4

  • r8dercain

    Football God..

  • inonewordraider

    Once he learns the offense yes hes better

  • R8RCatDave

    Levi Damien@ LeviDamien2min2ago GAIII in parking lot loading car with gear, “no comment man” were his only words

  • inonewordraider

    He’s a saint

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    not even close.

    McGloin > Sadford

  • 24

    Well hes got a week haha

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    And so it begins.

  • link?

  • inonewordraider

    Grainy feed in beijing eh?

  • Skewlboy

    Bradford hasn’t done anything in this league. If they brought Bradford only to manage the game, Mcgloin could have done that

  • willy91137

    his dad is going to make him feel better if nobody picks Him up he will be on the practice squad again this year

    the kid can play in this league but he has to get better balls securely

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    He said link,
    Not
    Lynx

  • EMRaiders

    You gotta secure your balls man. Every man knows that.

  • willy91137

    Next year

  • inonewordraider

    He went 7-9 last yr 3700 yards 19 tds 14 ints, hes miles better than mcgloin

  • Alex7

    And was ROY

  • EMRaiders

    Those are very Carr-ish numbers

  • inonewordraider

    Jock strap?

  • Morilla_00

    Did they ever release how Bridgewater borked his knee?

  • TB will never recover enough to be worth a darn

  • It was a real good one though. Sounded believable

  • Myopinion

    Rapport says cowser waived.

  • inonewordraider

    Will he stay healthy? Another story

  • EMRaiders

    writing was on the wall with Del Rios comments on him yesterday

  • CVRaider

    Dropping back on practice. I jokingly said that’s what happens when you only play out of shotgun your whole life.

  • Post to the Ghost

    Hahaha.

  • Alex7

    Carr is on pace for top-20 ALL TIME td to int ratio.

    Y’all wack.