After the draft, Raiders head coach Tom Cable addressed the media and said that he would be dipping into the free agency market to add depth to this team.
Since that time the Raiders have signed 8 undrafted rookies, a young 2 year pro, and a 4 time probowler.
FB Lorenzo Neal is the type of smashmouth fullback that has made way for numerous 1000 yard rushers, including Raider killer Ladanian Tomlinson. He is a 4 time probowl player, and he brings with him a huge aray of talent and experience.
At 38 years of age, Neal will not be expected to be an every down back, but he will help to give our other future star FB, Oren O'Neal time to recover from knee surgery.
This is a great pickup for the Raiders, who have now addressed another major need.
The Raiders also signed free agent RB Gary Russell. Russell played for the Superbowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers last season, and most notably ran for the first touchdown in last seasons championship game.
Russell will not be expected to be a starter for an already deep running back class, but he does add depth, which is always needed.
Other signings for the Raiders include these 8 rookies.
TE Chris O'Neill, Boise State
DT Desmond Bryant, Harvard
S/LB Jerome Boyd, Oregon
G Jonathan Compas, UC-David
WR Nick Miller, Southern Utah
WR Shawn Bayes, Kent State
LB David Nixon, BYU
LB Frantz Joseph, Florida Atlantic
In other news, the Raiders 3 day mini camp started on friday, and it gave us a chance to see our rookie prospects in action.
1st round pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey was very inpressive, as his speed was a factor early in training. He also showed doubters about his hands, that he can make some of those tough catches.
2nd round rookie Mike Mitchell was also impressive thus far in camp, and more importantly, he seems to have the perfect mindset for this game. He has worked out very hard since being drafted, and he plans on proving doubters wrong about him being drafted so high.
Tom Cable once again said it best, when asked about the controversy surrounding the Raiders first two picks in the draft, when he said, “We picked these guys for a reason, and only time will tell…”
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Written by Lee Tremblay