AFC West: Derek Carrier

Raiders' injury news

September, 12, 2012
CSN Bay Area is reporting Stefen Wisniewski is practicing at center with the first team Wednesday. He has been out with a calf injury. Alex Parson took his place. Also, the website is reporting that receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring) is practicing, but long snapper Jon Condo (concussion) is not.

I’d expect Moore to play for the first time this season unless there is a setback. The NFL has strict rules for concussion recovery, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Condo does not play. I’d think the Raiders would bring in a new long snapper if that is the case. I can’t see how Raiders could use linebacker Travis Goethel as a snapper. He had three bad snaps that directly resulted in nine points for the Chargers in a 22-14 San Diego win on Monday night.

UPDATE: The Raiders gave themselves some insurance by signing former San Diego camp snapper Nick Guess to the practice squad. He could be promoted if Condo isn’t ready Sunday at Miami and if Oakland doesn’t opt for a veteran replacement. I, personally, would sign a veteran. Goethal showed that the lack of NFL game experience can be a problem.

In other AFC West notes:

U-T San Diego is reporting that San Diego starting quarterback Quentin Jammer had surgery on a broken hand, but he will play Sunday against Tennessee with a cast on his hand. Still, it could affect Jammer’s play. Backup cornerback Shareece Wright has an ankle injury. The issues could potentially cause San Diego to seek cornerback help.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has pushed his way up from No. 10 to No. 4 on Mike Sando’s MVP Watch after a successful Broncos’ debut.

Here are our Accuscore preview videos for the AFC West games this week: Oakland at Miami, Tennessee at San Diego, Kansas City at Buffalo and Denver at Atlanta.

A Chiefs’ employee apologized for getting into a twitter tiff with a frustrated fan after the Chiefs lost to the Falcons on Sunday.

Oakland reportedly signed cornerback Coye Francies to the practice squad. He was cut last week. Receiver Brandon Carswell was cut from the Raiders’ practice squad. Carswell was kept on the practice squad over fellow receiver Derek Carrier this month. Carrier just signed with the Eagles’ practice squad. He was a highly touted undrafted free-agent signing in Oakland.

The Raiders also defensive lineman Brandon Bair to the practice squad, and cut linebacker Nathan Stupar and defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga from the practice squad. Stupar was a seventh-round pick.

High praise for Ryan Clady

September, 7, 2012
This column from colleague Jeffri Chadiha proclaims Denver left tackle Ryan Clady as the No. 4 most indispensable players in the NFL. He is the only AFC West player on the list. I can hear your cackles from here.

I’m sure you have a lot to say. The extremely high ranking is a bit curious, since Clady’s sack numbers have soared. Still, he is a fine player who protects Peyton Manning's blind side. So, there is no doubt he is valuable and important to Denver’s success. Disagree? Have at it in the comment section below. But first, some other AFC West notes:
  • The Raiders worked out several tight ends this week: Gabe Miller, Fendi Onobun, Zack Pianalto and Mickey Shuler. None are impact players and the team was likely simply just doing their due diligence.
  • Receiver Derek Carrier had a workout with the Eagles. He was a highly touted undrafted free agent who signed with the Raiders. He was cut last Friday.
  • Former Oakland cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke is reportedly set to sign with Pittsburgh. The 2011 third-round pick was cut by the Raiders earlier this week and he went unclaimed. The Steelers play at Denver on Sunday and at Oakland in Week 3. I’d doubt Van Dyke would be active Sunday if signed.
  • There is one fewer Manning jersey in Colorado these days.

Oakland Raiders cut-down analysis

September, 1, 2012
Click here for the complete list of Oakland Raiders' roster moves.

Most significant move: Putting starting linebacker Aaron Curry on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He has been out all camp with knee problems. This is good news, because there was a thought he could end up on the injured reserve. Now Curry can come back to practice Oct. 16. He will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by fourth-round pick Miles Burris. I think Oakland will look for some linebackers in the coming days as well. As expected, young tight end David Ausberry made the team and he will continue to develop. They are high on sixth-round pick, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi. He is raw, but he has big potential and he can learn without urgency because he is on a top-notch line. Cornerback Bryan McCann made the team and he could be the starting punt returner. As expected, punt returner Roscoe Parrish, who was cut by the Chargers on Monday and quickly signed by the Raiders, was cut after he fumbled two punts Thursday at Seattle.

Onward and upward: Defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton was caught in a numbers game. He was impressive in the preseason but he is likely headed to the practice squad. Rookie free-agent receiver Derek Carrier is probably not headed to the practice squad at this point. The team was very high on him after the draft, but he fell behind other rookie receivers such as fifth-round pick Juron Criner and fellow undrafted rookie Rod Streater. Both those players made the team and should be part of the rotation. However, rookie receiver Brandon Carswell could be practice-squad bound. Rookie linebacker Chad Kilgore could also be headed to the practice squad. He looked good in the preseason. Linebacker Nathan Stupar, a seventh-round draft pick, was a surprise cut after he had a strong preseason. I could see him being claimed elsewhere. If not, I'm sure Oakland will try to put him on the practice squad.

What’s next: I expect the Raiders to be very busy in the next few days. Depth is a big problem because of a salary-cap issue and a lack of draft picks the past two years. The Raiders’ lack of depth was a serious problem in the preseason. I think the Raiders could use help at running back, tight end, the offensive line, and linebacker and in the secondary. Yes, they could be busy. Among the players Oakland could look at include Rock Cartwright, Tim Hightower, Joselio Hanson, Justin Miller and Chris Cooley. Oakland could also be on the lookout for a pass-rusher. It worked out Andre Carter recently, but he reportedly isn’t healthy enough to sign anywhere.
Weekend mail call:

Joseph McGeady from Berkeley, Calif., wants to know why I had Kansas City safety Eric Berry at No. 2 and San Diego safety Eric Weddle at No. 3 in my recent AFC West secondary rankings.

Bill Williamson: Joseph, I know you asking because Berry missed just about all of the 2011 season, his second in the league, after suffering a knee injury in Week 1. It is a valid question, but I still feel good about the choice. I think Berry is a top-end player -- who will come back and make an immediate presence. Ranking Weddle the No. 3 defensive back in the division is no knock. It’s a compliment. He’s a very good player, but I think Berry has a chance to be one of the best defensive players in the NFL very soon.

Mikey from San Francisco wants to know if I think Oakland's Derek Carrier, an undrafted receiver from Beloit College, has a chance to make the 53-man roster this year.

BW: I think Carrier is probably headed to the practice squad. He is a tremendous physical presence -- 6-foot-3, 238 pounds -- and an interesting project. But he has to learn the pace of the NFL. The Raiders are loaded at receiver, so I believe Carrier needs to go through the practice-squad process. That has been the thinking all along.

Parker Keegan from Seattle wants to know if I think Khalif Barnes can be anything more than a stop-gap option at right tackle for the Raiders.

BW: Honestly, no, I think he is just a short-term solution. They will give Joe Barksdale a chance to beat him, but Barnes is in Oakland just for the short term. Yes, he has experience in the zone-blocking scheme, so he might have some value, but I don’t see him as a plus player.
The Oakland Raiders announced their undrafted rookie class Thursday. Most of the signings have been reported, but the team made it official. Here is the list, via a teams statement:

Conroy Black (6-foot-0, 185 pounds), CB, Utah: Played two years at Utah after transferring from Fullerton College. Earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a senior after recording four interceptions to tie for the Pac-12 lead.

Kaelin Burnett (6-4, 234), LB, Nevada: Played at Nevada after transferring from Delta State, seeing action at both linebacker and defensive end. In final season at Nevada, recorded 30 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss.

Derek Carrier (6-4, 238), WR, Beloit: Played at Beloit, establishing school records with 189 career receptions for 3,111 yards and 29 touchdowns. Also set a single-season school record with 75 catches for 1,250 yards as a senior.

Brandon Carswell (6-1, 201), WR, USC: Native of the San Francisco Bay Area town of Milpitas, Calif., had 40 career receptions for 386 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans. Played in all 12 games as a senior, totaling 18 catches for 153 yards and one touchdown.

Dominique Hamilton (6-5, 313), DT, Missouri: Named All-Big 12 by the media for his senior season, which he finished with 50 tackles, two fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks.

Aaron Henry (6-0, 208), S, Wisconsin: Played four years at Wisconsin, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches as a senior. Started all 14 games in final college season, recording four interceptions.

Marquette King (6-0, 192), P, Fort Valley State: As a senior, punted 60 times for 2,582 yards and recorded an 80-yard punt in the HBCU Bowl. Averaged 43.3 yards per punt and ranked No. 13 in the nation in net yardage.

Dan Knapp (6-5, 304), T, Arizona State: Started all 13 games as a senior. Made transition from tight end to offensive line after sophomore season.

Mario Kurn (6-2, 238), LB, San Diego: Appeared in 11 games as a senior and totaled 12.5 sacks. Named AP FCS second-team All-American and earned All-Pioneer Football League first-team honors.

Thomas Mayo (6-2, 205), WR, California (Pa.): Transferred to California (Pa.) for senior season after beginning college career at Concord University. Led team with 79 receptions for 1,359 yards and 16 touchdowns en route to Division II All-America honors.

Lucas Nix (6-5, 317), G, Pittsburgh: Played both guard and tackle in four seasons at Pittsburgh. Started eight contests at right guard as a senior and made 13 starts at both right guard and right tackle as a junior.

Chaz Powell (6-1, 207), S, Penn State: Played both wide receiver and cornerback at Penn State, finishing his career with 30 receptions for 403 yards and 54 tackles with two interceptions. Also averaged 25.6 yards per kickoff return, with two touchdowns.

Rod Streater (6-3, 200), WR, Temple: Played two seasons at Temple after transferring from Alfred State. As a senior, totaled 18 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns and had 30 receptions for 481 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.
Midweek mail call:

Eric from San Diego wants to know if Chargers rookie tight end Ladarius Green can fill a role this season.

Bill Williamson: I don’t think the Chargers are counting on the fourth-rounder for much more than being a special teamer this season and learning the system. If Green -- who could be the eventual replacement for star Antonio Gates -- can come in and catch 20-30 passes, it would be a bonus. Green has strong receiving skills and the Chargers have an eye on him for the future. But he doesn’t have to make a huge impact as a rookie.

Adam from Sacramento wants to know if Oakland rookie free-agent Derek Carrier could take on a tight end/fullback role as well.

BW: Carrier is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and he is supremely athletic. He has the ability to play anywhere the Raiders want him to play. I think he can potentially become a tight end or an H-back. This is a developmental player who is likely headed to the practice squad. I could see the Raiders getting creative with him and developing him at different spots. He’s a prospect to watch.

Michael from Denver wants to know if I think Denver practice squad quarterback Adam Weber has a future with the team.

BW: I don’t think Weber has much of a future in Denver. He might stick around as a practice squader for another year. But with Caleb Hanie and second-round pick Brock Osweiler backing up Peyton Manning, there isn’t much room for Weber on Denver’s 53-man roster.

Oakland mock draft

April, 26, 2012
Here is the Raiders’ mock draft:

Summary: The Raiders have to find a couple of players despite have a late and small class. There are some potential contributors in this group. Carrier, a small-school gem, could be worth a late-round flier.
Every year there are some small-school gems who warrant attention in the draft.

Derek Carrier is one of those players. He is a huge receiver with great measurables. But he is from tiny Beloit College.

Among the teams seriously investigating Carrier are the Raiders and the Broncos. He had made two visits, one to Oakland and another to Seattle. Other teams have been checking into him.

If Carrier went an SEC school, he’d likely be an early-round pick; as things stand, he is expected to go in the sixth or seventh round. There is no doubt that he is a project, but there is a lot to like.

He is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. He has a 40-inch vertical jump and did a three-cone run in 6.69 seconds, which is off the charts.

Most important, Carrier has shown he can produce. He had 75 catches and l12 touchdowns last season. The only knock on this specimen is the level of competition he has faced.

Still, someone is going to get a potential standout -- and there is a chance he lands in the AFC West.