The national media has been ridiculing the Oakland Raiders because of the lack of big names on their current roster. What the national media doesn’t realize is that the general manager Reggie McKenzie has a keen eye for talent. A few of these late round and undrafted gems had big games for the Raiders tonight against the Cowboys.
6th round pick Latavius Murray has probably been the most hyped rookie for the Oakland Raiders so far. While he missed part of training camp with nagging injuries, he has shown the explosiveness to be a big time NFL player. Murray did not disappoint tonight as he surprised me by not only showing the explosiveness and straight line speed that the Raiders coaching staff has been raving about, but he was also making quick cuts that is hardly seen from a man his size. A couple of weeks of healthy training camp should only improve Murray’s stock. He is still behind veteran Rashad Jennings on the depth chart, so a few more solid games like tonight will help him become the number two running back.
The super athletic Brice Butler dropped to the 7th round of the NFL draft because of his lack of production at USC and San Diego State. His productivity in college was puzzling because he has the athletic ability of a superstar wide receiver (4.37 40-yard dash and 40 inch vertical). Throughout training camp Butler has turned heads with his play making ability. However, no one could really be prepared for the performance he put on tonight. Butler could have rested well after making a big 40-yard reception in the third quarter but he followed that up with an incredible 30-yard diving fingertip catch for a touchdown. There is no way the Raiders can let a physical specimen like Butler leave the team, so expect him to make the 53-man roster as a fourth or fifth receiver.
Undrafted rookie free agent Chance Casey came out of nowhere to have a great game for the Oakland Raiders tonight against the Dallas Cowboys. The four year starter for the Baylor Bears fell out of the draft because of his injury history, not because of his production on the field. Casey still has the mentality of a hard hitting safety even though the Raiders have converted him to cornerback in training camp. It’s fitting that Casey wore Lester Hayes’ number 37 as he was flying all over the field and bringing a certain nastiness Raiders fans haven’t seen from the cornerback position in years. Not only was Casey making solid tackles, but he looks like he has adjusted to being a cover cornerback in the NFL. Casey still has a long way to go before making the Raiders roster but he has definitely put himself in good position after tonight’s great performance.