In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders made seven selections. However, the roster additions didn’t end there, as the Raiders added multiple undrafted free agents following the draft. While it may not seem like a big deal to some, the UDFA pool has proven to be a gold mine as of late.
Since head coach Jon Gruden returned in 2018, the team has added the following UDFA’s: Punter A.J Cole, center Andre James, fullback Alec Ingold, and wide receiver Keelan Doss. It’s fair to assume any UDFA brought in under Jon Gruden will get a chance to compete for a job. Out of the Raiders 2021 UDFA class here are the players that have the best chance at earning a spot on the final roster.
Las Vegas Raiders: 2021 Undrafted Free Agent Breakdown
Raiders Undrafted Free Agents 2021:
Dillon Stoner, WR, Oklahoma State
Garrett Groshek, RB, Wisconsin
Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia [Draft Profile]
Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
Devery Hamilton, OT, Duke
Max Richardson, LB, Boston College
Trey Ragas, RB, Louisville [Draft Profile]
DJ Turner, WR, Pittsburgh
TJ Morrison, DB, Stony Brook
Shaun Crawford, CB, Notre Dame
Best UDFA Signing- Darius Stills, DT
The one position the Raiders didn’t address defensively in the draft was defensive tackle. Nonetheless, they added a talented player in Darius Stills out of West Virginia. Stills had better pass-rushing outputs than many players that were drafted in 2021. In the last two seasons, Stills had a combined 9.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss. That’s half a sack less and 3.5 tackles for a loss more than the first defensive tackle taken in the draft, being Christian Barmore.
In the NFL, Stills will need to develop more as a run-defender. Yet, with his ability as a rusher, he can carve out a role early as a rotational player. This being something the team will need, given the release of Maurice Hurst and poor long-term outlook beyond 2021 at the position.
UDFA Most Likely to Make Raiders- Matt Bushman, TE
At tight end, the Raiders have excellent depth. But that did not stop them from giving BYU tight end Matt Bushman $125,000 guaranteed to sign as a UDFA.
Bushman is a very intriguing player to snag after the draft, especially when considering his performance on the field. The main reason behind him going undrafted his health derailing his otherwise productive college carer. He missed the 2020 season with a ruptured achillies, which came after a great 2019 campaign.
That year, Bushman finished with 688 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 14.7 yards per catch. Assuming he returns to full strength, he can make the team with his elite hands and above-average route-running abilities. Clearly, when it came time for signing undrafted free agents, the Raiders wanted to pounce at a catch-first weapon.
Additionally, Las Vegas has shown the willingness to keep an extra skill-position player if they like him. So, even with tight ends Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier on the roster, there is a chance Bushman can sneak on to the 53 man roster.
Biggest Sleeper UDFA Signing- Devery Hamilton, OT
Standing at 6’9″ and 310-pounds, Devery Hamilton is a massive human being. He was not a prospect who generated much buzz prior to the draft but is a two-time all-academic player at Stanford. He found himself starting in 11 games for the Duke Blue Devils in 2020. c
At the next level, Hamilton will need to work on his technique, specifically with Tom Cable as his offensive line coach. Head Coach Jon Gruden traditionally likes smart football players that work hard. At a position where the Raiders lack depth, Hamilton has a chance to sneak onto the roster or be stashed on the practice squad for the time being.
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