With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview, the NFL and its teams now head into their virtual offseason training programs where returners and newly acquired players will do their best to learn the playbook, coaching staff and their teammates.
While online meetings and training sessions are far from ideal, there is still work to be done ahead of the 2020 NFL season and the Las Vegas Raiders have turned themselves into a team of intrigue after all of their offseason activity. The Raiders were one of the busiest teams in free agency, snatching up several impact players on both sides of the ball and then turned around and addressed their most pressing needs in the draft.
After the draft, teams begin to fill out their 90-man roster by quickly signing undrafted free agents who will get a chance to compete for a spot on the regular season team. Ahead of their virtual rookie minicamp, Las Vegas parted ways with six players, most notably quarterback DeShone Kizer.
In a corresponding move, the Raiders signed four undrafted free agents in tight end Nick Bowers, cornerback Madre Harper, long snapper Liam McCullough and linebacker Javin White. Even with the new additions, Las Vegas still has more spots to fill before they are at capacity.
Bowers played 26 games for Penn State, but only started two games during his four-year college career. He was selected to the All Big-Ten in 2019 after totaling 214 receiving yards on 10 receptions and scoring three touchdowns.
Harper spent two years with Oklahoma State before transferring to Southern Illinois. The defensive back played 11 games his senior year, starting 10 of them and recorded 42 total tackles, two interceptions, and 14 passes defensed.
McCullough played long-snapper all four years at Ohio State and appeared in 54 out of 55 possible games. As a senior, McCullough was successful on 577 consecutive snaps and his performance earned him a nod as a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award which is given to the nation’s best long-snapper.
White is an Oakland native who played at UNLV, so he has strong ties to the franchise and understands the impact the Silver and Black has on its fans. White is a former wide receiver turned safety, but is listed as a linebacker, giving Jon Gruden another possible versatile piece on a defense that could sure use it.
It is an interesting group to kick off the Raiders’ undrafted signings, but Mike Mayock and Gruden still have an opportunity to find talent in the coming weeks.