Even though the draft is just mere days away, the Las Vegas Raiders are making some moves on the roster. With tight ends Darren Waller and Foster Moreau on the squad, the team is pretty set with young tight end talent. However, that’s not stopping Jon Gruden from adding more potential playmakers.
Las Vegas announced on Monday that they have signed Carson Williams to play tight end.
We have signed free agent TE Carson Williams.
More » https://t.co/UFE2QfsbCV pic.twitter.com/JaqFlo5iUZ
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 26, 2021
Williams is a very interesting addition as he doesn’t have experience as a football player. He played collegiate basketball at Northern Kentucky from 2016 to 2017 and then transferred to Western Kentucky. He stayed there from 2018 to 2020. As a basketball player, he averaged 11.2 points per game with 5.9 assists.
At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Williams is the perfect size to play tight end in the NFL. He’s going to be an experiment as he doesn’t have football experience. The Raiders have done an excellent job developing tight ends and Gruden loves the position. He’ll likely be stashed on the practice squad for a while and it’ll be interesting to watch his development.
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Former Basketball Players Have Had Success in NFL
Out of all the positions in the NFL, basketball players have had the most success playing tight end. Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham are the best examples of basketball players who have thrived in the NFL. Now, there’s no guarantee that Williams will be anywhere close to those guys but it’s certainly possible he’ll make an impact.
The Raiders are very familiar with Gates and Gonzalez as they played large portions of their careers in the AFC West. Perhaps Gruden believes that Williams could have a successful transition to football. It’s not fair for him to get compared to some of the greatest tight ends of all time but he’ll certainly get his chances with the Raiders.
Mike Mayock Excited About OL Changes
Tight end is one of the few position groups that the Raiders are really strong at. It’s definitely not something the team needs to target in the draft. However, the team’s once strong offense has some serious holes. Las Vegas needs to ensure that their offensive line is set. As of right now, they don’t have a starting right tackle set. While many are concerned about the team’s offensive line, general manager Mike Mayock is actually excited about it.
“I’m excited and energized by what our offensive line room is starting to look like, and I’m excited and energized because I think Tom Cable feels the same way,” Mayock said recently. “We have all the respect in the world for Rodney [Hudson] and Gabe [Jackson] and Trent [Brown], but at this point, we made a conscious decision to try to get younger, maybe a little bit more athletic…”
Quarterback Derek Carr is more effective when he has a strong offensive line. The Raiders do have some really solid players but need to find a great right tackle who can stay healthy.
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