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One of the best ways to build the depth and the bottom end of a roster is through undrafted free agency. Winning teams consistently find contributors after the NFL Draft and this greatly helps with the overall strength of the roster and down the road when it comes to the salary cap.
So how did Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels do with their first undrafted free-agent class? Very, very well.
In a recent article by Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports, he broke down every team’s undrafted free agent class and ranked them accordingly. The Raiders finished at No. 3 in the AFC as they signed seven players that ranked inside the top-300 players for NBC Sports.
Here is a quick snippet of Nystrom’s thoughts on a few of the higher-profile signings by the Raiders:
“(Sam) Webb is extremely raw but has the size/athleticism profile you can dream on and work with. Plus, he plays special teams, which could justify a roster spot during his development phase.
(Tre) Turner has good ball skills and breaks tackles after the catch but doesn’t chance directions suddenly, making it difficult to separate. Olaseni played soccer and basketball as a child in London, and didn’t discover football until 2014.
He was only a one-year starter in the P5 and has a ways to go – but you can dream on the frame, length, play strength, and light feet. Perfect guy to sneak on the practice squad.”
The Raiders didn’t have a ton of draft capital due to the Davante Adams trade, but a strong undrafted free-agent class will help build the depth at the bottom of the roster. Don’t be surprised if two or three UDFAs wind up making the 53-man roster for the Raiders.