In Jon Gruden’s world, you can never have too many tight ends. The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Thursday that they have claimed tight end Paul Butler off waivers from the Detroit Lions. Butler was a Raider last offseason during training camp but was cut before the season started.
He’s been in the league since 2018 and came in as an undrafted free agent. Butler has yet to play an NFL game, so he doesn’t have any statistics of note. He’s mostly spent his time on the practice squad. It’s hard to imagine Butler is more than just a body for training camp.
Raiders Now Have 6 TEs on the Roster
With Butler’s addition, the Raiders now have six tight ends on the roster as a whole. They also added Jason Witten and Nick O’Leary this offseason. There’s also Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier, who were already on the roster.
The Raiders are set to have one of the strongest tight end groups in the NFL. Realistically, the team can only keep as many as four during the regular season. Waller, Moreau and Witten are locks to make the roster. If the Raiders do decide to keep four, it will be between Carrier, O’Leary and Butler. Carrier will probably be the favorite as he’s been around the team for a while now.
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Mike Mayock Talks Impact of COVID-19 on the Draft
Draft day is closing in for the Raiders and the entire NFL is in for an unorthodox experience. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, everything will have to be done remotely. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock won’t even be able to be in the same room together.
Another thing that affects the draft is that teams haven’t been able to workout players or meet them in person. Mayock doesn’t believe that will affect the top guys in the draft too much, but it could have a big impact on guys expected to get drafted in the later rounds.
“I think it’s more kind of that third day when you start talking about guys that don’t have as much tape, guys that don’t have verifies, guys that were not at the combine,” Mayock said on a conference call. “We are getting an awful lot of tape and information from agents that are doing ad hoc Pro Days and how much of that can you trust or not trust. So, I think more of the question marks begin to surface the further you get into this draft. I think the first round, for the most part, will be similar to most years.”
Some of the best players in NFL history were drafted in later rounds or not drafted at all. It’s unfortunate that some talented players may not get a real shot at a roster because they weren’t able to sell themselves to teams. The Raiders will do their best to get as much information as possible, but it will definitely more difficult than it has been before.