The Oakland Raiders are going to have a new slick look this coming season. Now that is a gross understatement.
An eye-opening 43 new players are in Napa undergoing the Jon Gruden initiation. The head coach and his staff took little time reshaping the roster they inherited from the previous coaching staff.
Training camp is the opportune time for players to engrain themselves in the good graces of the coaching staff. The Raiders have plenty of unheralded additions looking to stick. Here is a trio of new faces that can forge a roster spot:
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* Daryl Worley: The third-year cornerback was involved in a bizarre offseason incident in Philadelphia and he found himself a free agent. The Raiders jumped, filed a waiver claim and now the 23-year-old joins a fluid CB group. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, the former Carolina Panthers third-round pick has prototype size for the position. In addition, Worley owns adequate speed and feet to play either on the outside or inside at the slot. He is the ultimate flier signing, but the reward is much higher than the risk.
* Tank Carradine: The former San Francisco 49er can play anywhere along the defensive line. Plus, where he excels is where the Raiders perpetually have issues — stopping the run. The 28-year-old makes a habit of clogging running lanes allowing others to swarm the play. While he has not shown the propensity to drop the quarterback since his college days at Florida State, his value as a run stuffer plays.
* Ryan Switzer: The additions of Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant overshadow the diminutive wide receiver, but the 23-year-old has an excellent window of capturing return duties and slot work. At 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, Switzer provides shifty agility, wiggle, and sizzle. His route running is not as polished as Nelson or Bryant, but he can leave defensive backs in the dust. Moreover, he has already shown he can produce in a Rich Bisaccia-led return unit.
Honorable mention: Keith Smith. The beefy fullback (apt because his nickname is Beef) has shown flashes of wipe out blocks as an escort to running backs. He gets the chance to ferry a scary tailback in Marshawn Lynch. If he does fill the old Jon Ritchie blood and guts role, expect him to not only block, but also become a pass catcher.
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