“I like this Doss,” said Jon Gruden, in one way or another, dozens of times since the Oakland Raiders brought Keelan Doss in as an undrafted free agent. The UC Davis alum and Alameda native has been a revelation in training camp and the preseason for the Raiders. He’s gained enough notoriety that he’s been featured in three of the four Hard Knocks episodes.
It’d be easy to stop hearing about him if he stopped making plays, but he just won’t. He’s one of several undrafted rookies that have really impressed the Raiders. Though the team is loaded at wide receiver with the likes of Tyrell Williams and Antonio Brown on the roster, Doss has still been able to stand out. He’s been one of the most impressive rookies in the entire NFL through the preseason.
Keelan Doss Among 10 Best Preseason Rookies, Says Pro Football Focus
Pro Football Focus, a website that utilizes analytics to determine how good a player is, is very high on Doss. Through the first three preseason games, PFF has Doss as the sixth highest-graded rookie amongst all rookies across the NFL. They’ve given him a 79.8 grade.
PFF noted that Doss has caught 11 of 14 passes thrown his way. He catches almost everything that’s thrown his way. He’s racked up 99 yards and a touchdown ahead of the game versus the Seattle Seahawks. Though Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow haven’t had a chance to play much in these exhibition games, Doss is still impressive. He’s shown off impressive hands at multiple points. The Raiders are going to have a hard time cutting him if they have to.
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Will Keelan Doss Make the Team?
What once seemed like a long shot seems like a certainty at this point. Keelan Doss has proven he belongs on the roster. Unfortunately, that means he’s going to force out a talented wideout like Marcell Ateman, J.J. Nelson or Ryan Grant, but it’s hard to imagine Oakland is going to let Doss go. Just because he went undrafted, doesn’t mean he’s not any bit as good as the other guys. Rod Smith and Wes Welker were both undrafted and they had incredible careers.
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock may have found a diamond in the rough with Doss. Obviously, it’s still just preseason so this could be a fluke, but the receiver has earned a chance to prove himself in the regular season. He’s been making plays with backups, he could be making even more plays with the starters out there. Plus, it’s a great story for the hometown kid to try out for his local team and make it. At this point, Doss has done enough to earn a roster spot. If the team does reward him with one, he’ll still have a lot to prove. He’ll probably be the fifth option at wide receiver for the Raiders but will have his chances to make plays.