The TE has evolved into a position that can stretch the field vertically these days. But the Raiders, they’ve done that since the ’70s with guys like Dave Casper, Raymond Chester and Todd Christensen. They just haven’t done it in a while because they have been able to find a reliable TE.
The last attempt in the draft was Clive Walford, who set a bunch of TE records at Miami. Remember, Miami has had guys like Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Greg Olsen at the position. But Walford has had injuries ruin his first two all important offseasons and he is behind in his development.
So this offseason, the Raiders signed TE Jared Cook, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. And now, he figures to make a Raiders offense that was explosive in 2016 even more explosive. The 6’5″, 255-pounder has blazing speed so he will stretch the field, much in the mold of traditional Raiders TEs.
QB Derek Carr said at a post OTA press conference, “With a guy like Jared that can stretch the field vertically like that. It’s going to lead to more single coverage outside. It’s going to lead to more one-on-ones for Seth [Roberts]. The possibilities are endless when you add a guy at that position that has that much speed vertically.
“The things that you can do with him really put a lot of stress on the defense.”
Cook is also a solid run-blocker so he also enhances the addition of RB Marshawn Lynch. The Packers signed him last offseason after his stints with the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams. But for some reason, the matchup nightmare wasn’t a factor in their offense until the playoffs came around.
Then they let him go this offseason so they could sign Martellus Bennett and the Raiders pounced. For the last few years, the Raiders have had to play against these matchup nightmares and suffer. But they picked SS Obi Melifonwu, a 6’4″, 225-pound blazer, in the second round to eliminate that problem.
And now, opposing teams have to worry about the Raiders’ matchup nightmare.
What a year this is going to be!
Just win, baby!