In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders largely ignored offense outside of the selection of two offensive linemen. This led to the team doing some damage on the offensive side of the ball by signing several undrafted free agents. One of the most notable players they brought in was former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dillon Stoner.
He was a productive pass catcher over five seasons for the Cowboys. Fellow OSU alum Dez Bryant took note of the signing and proclaimed that the signing will end up being a “huge steal.”
The three-time Pro Bowler knows a thing or two about being a good wide receiver in the NFL. If we don’t count Stoner’s freshman year at OSU, he averaged over 587 yards a season while in college. In his second to last game in college against Baylor, the wide receiver caught eight passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He clearly has some potential and it will be interesting to see how the Raiders use him. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash so he doesn’t have blistering speed.
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Stoner Has Been Compared to Julian Edelman
There aren’t a ton of undrafted wide receivers who have had success in the NFL but they certainly exist. Hall of Famer Cris Carter wasn’t drafted and he’s one of the best to ever do it. Julian Edelman may have been drafted when he entered the NFL but he was a late seventh-round pick. According to OSU head coach Mike Gundy, Stoner compares well to the former New England Patriots wideout.
“In my opinion, he’s what Edelman was when he first started,” Gundy told reporters previously, via The Athletic. “[Stoner] is that type of player, because he can do all the different things like [Edelman] could, and he’s going to run 4.5. If his health stays, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t hang around the league for six or seven years.”
Edelman had a ton of success over many years in New England. If the Raiders just found the next Edelman, they’re going to be very happy. However, it’s going to take a lot of work from Stoner to make that happen.
Will Stoner Make the Team?
The first order of business for Stoner is simply making the team. The Raiders don’t have a ton of room on the roster for another wide receiver. Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow and John Brown are all locks to make the roster. Las Vegas will likely keep six wide receivers heading into Week 1. Willie Snead isn’t a lock but he’ll have a very strong shot at making the roster.
That leaves one spot for several young wide receivers to try and steal. Zay Jones is the likely favorite for that last spot due to his experience with the team and relationship with Derek Carr. For his first season, Stoner’s most likely to start on the practice squad. The Raiders simply don’t have enough room for him right now. That said, he’ll still get plenty of opportunities to vie for a long-term roster spot while working on the practice squad.