1,513

Cory James ‘flies around’ and is making a good impression

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Raiders linebacker Cory James, a sixth-round pick from Colorado State, was solid in his NFL debut. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)

Raiders linebacker Cory James, a sixth-round pick from Colorado State, was solid in his NFL debut. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)

Sixth-round pick Cory James stepped in with the Raiders starters on Monday when Ben Heeney went out. He’s coming off an impressive showing in his NFL debut on Friday that included five tackles.

“He’s picking up our scheme very well,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy that’s going to be productive. He flies around. He gets around the football. We’ve been happy with him this entire spring and he had a good showing in his first outing.”

James came in expecting to make most of his noise on special teams, but is showing enough early on that he could earn some defensive snaps — especially if Heeney misses even a little time. Continue Reading

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8,647

Raiders sign sixth-rounder Cory James

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Raiders linebacker Cory James signed on Friday. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)

Raiders linebacker Cory James signed on Friday. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)

The Raiders announced Friday that sixth round linebacker Corey James of Colorado State has been signed to his rookie contract. With that, only third-round pick Shilique Calhoun has yet to sign his deal.

James and his fellow rookies participated in a rookie mini-camp last weekend with the group of undrafted free agents and players in on a tryout basis, five of which were signed. 

Next up is the team’s first OTA session on Tuesday, which is the first full-team session of the year open to the media.

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3,543

What they’re saying: Evaluating Raiders’ draft class

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The Raiders received grades mostly in the B range for their draft that opened with the selection of safety Karl Joseph. (West Virginia athletics photo)

The Raiders received grades mostly in the B range for their draft that opened with the selection of safety Karl Joseph. (West Virginia athletics photo)

The Raiders drafted seven players — one in each round after dealing their own fifth-round pick — over the three days of this weekend’s NFL Draft.

It started with safety Karl Joseph on Thursday, continued with DE Jihad Ward, LB Shilique Calhoun, QB Connor Cook, RB DeAndre Washington, LB Cory James and OL Vadal Alexander over the next two days.

The draft addressed two of the most pressing needs by grabbing a starting safety and a change of pace running back. The Ward pick will have to be evaluated later to see if he can make an immediate impact — you need that from a second round pick. Calhoun seems like a nice addition as an extra pass rusher. Cook could give you a decent backup quarterback and somebody to step in if something were to happen to Derek Carr, James is probably going to be a special teams player who may see the field on defense if he develops quickly and Alexander is good value in the seventh round. That’s my view, but let’s take a look at what the national media is saying. Continue Reading

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55

NFL Draft: Getting to know the Raiders’ Day 3 picks

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Michigan State's Connor Cook was the Raiders fourth round pick.

Michigan State’s Connor Cook was the Raiders fourth round pick.

Connor Cook

Round (overall): Fourth round (No. 100)

College: Michigan State

Position: Quarterback

Ht/Wt: 6-foot-4/220

College highlights: 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winning, Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and All-Big Ten first-team selection. Career record as a starter of 34-5 and went 2-0 in Big Ten championship games. Michigan State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (71), passing yards (9,194) and total offense (9,403). Continue Reading

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