Dreams for four undrafted free agents continued when the Oakland Raiders put them on the initial 53-man roster.
Fullback Alec Ingold, punter A.J. Cole, tackle Andre James and cornerback Keisean Nixon got the good news they had hoped to hear as the cutdown through the NFL came to an end Saturday.
Raiders general manager was impressed with the four rookies during training camp.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are about those four guys.” Mayock said. “We are real excited about those four guys and obviously the big picture is there is a lot of transition with this roster. Again, underscoring youth, athleticability, size, etc., and I’m excited these kids are with us.”
Here is a look at the four undrafted free agents who made the initial roster:
The Raiders’ coaching staff was familiar with Ingold, coaching him at the Senior Bown in Mobile, Ala. He played in 51 games at Wisconsin and took advantage when Keith Smith was nursing an injury.
“I mean, Alec Ingold, we had in the Senior Bowl, knew he was going to be a target,” Mayock said.
James was a teammate at UCLA with second-year Raiders tackle Kolton Miller.
James stood out during camp under offensive line coach Tom Cable. Mayock and Raiders coach Jon Gruden also saw something in James..
“Andre James, I’ll tell you, (offensive line coach) Tom Cable has done a great job with him,” he said. “He was a left tackle at UCLA, and not really a highly rated left tackle. We projected him inside as a scouting staff and Tom’s taken that and Andre James had an outstanding training camp.”
It was a battle between A.J. Cole and Johnny Townsend who played last season with the Raiders.
Cole came onboard as a tryout punter and secured a contract and took off from there.
During training camp, he boomed punts that impressed Gruden. He was successful at North Carolina State, ranking second in program history in punting yards (9,288) and third in punts (220).
Nixon stood out during preseason games and it made it easy for the coaching staff to keep him.
He played at South Carolina for two seasons and recorded 71 tackles and two interceptions.
“Nixon was a guy that we identified early as a below-the-radar, core special teams guy,” Mayock said. “He was playing safety at South Carolina. We thought he was a corner.”
Four QBs on 53-man roster
The Raiders claimed quarterback DeShone Kizer off waivers from the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
He was a second round selection (52nd overall) by the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The addition of Kizer means the Raiders have Derek Carr, Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman on the 53-man roster.
To make room for Kizer, the Raiders waived defensive end Josh Mauro.
Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee