Oakland Raiders tight end Jeron Mastrud was an afterthought in the Raiders tight end discussion this off-season, but he wound up beating out Richard Gordon for the final spot on the team. Most members of the Raider Nation probably never heard of Mastrud until his big and painfully slow 41 yard reception against the Indianapolis Colts in the 4th quarter. While most tight ends would have taken Pryor’s throw to the house, Mastrud is known more for being a blocking tight end which explains his Grady Jackson-esque running speed.
The 6’6 256 pound Mastrud went undrafted out of Kansas State during the 2010 NFL draft. His slow 40-yard dash time and lackluster athleticism was to blame for Mastrud not getting drafted. After spending his first training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mastrud was cut and ended up playing musical chairs with NFL teams as he was signed and released by the Patriots and finally signed by the Miami Dolphins a few days later. In three seasons with the Dolphins, Mastrud only had one reception as he mainly played special teams.
Having a big tight end like Mastrud is of upmost importance for the Oakland Raiders because of their atrocious offensive line. I was surprised to see Mastrud get the start over Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera but the Raiders needed a veteran presence to help protect Terrelle Pryor. It remains to be seen how long Mastrud will be on the roster because David Ausberry should return to the starting lineup when gets healthy.