Over the years, the Las Vegas Raiders have been open to giving jobs to former players and their family members. Even just last year, the team almost signed veteran offensive lineman Kyle Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long. That didn’t work out but the team will now be bringing in the son of a different former Raider.
According to Element Sports, offensive lineman Tyrone Wheatley Jr. has inked a deal with Las Vegas.
One doesn’t have to go far back into Raiders history to see Wheatley’s connection to the team. His father played running back with the team from 1999 to 2004. His 1,046 rushing yards led the team in 2000, and he had one reception for 7 yards in the 2002 Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wheatley was a key part of Jon Gruden’s offense during his first stint with the team. He started his career with the New York Giants as a first-round pick out of Michigan but really found his footing with the Raiders. His son will now be hoping to have a similar trajectory as he got his start with the Chicago Bears but never got a chance to play a game.
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Wheatley Started out as a TE
The younger Wheatley certainly inherited his dad’s size and more. He’s 6-foot-6, 290 pounds. He wasn’t ever going to be a running back with that size. In fact, he started out as a tight end. He followed in his father’s footsteps and played at Michigan before transferring to Stony Brook.
Wheatley went undrafted in 2020 and decided to join The Spring League where he converted to offensive tackle. He eventually landed with the Bears and spent last season on their practice squad. This is actually an interesting addition for the Raiders. Wheatley is still very raw at tackle but certainly has the size and athleticism to eventually be a good player. He still needs to gain some weight and work on his technique but he’s a good project for offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo to work with. It’s unlikely he’ll have much of a role on the team this season but the Raiders could stash him on the practice squad and see if they can develop him into someone they can play. He’s only 25-years-old so there’s plenty of time.
Wheatley Sr. Is on Broncos’ Coaching Staff
This offseason, the elder Wheatley decided to join the enemy when he was hired to be the Denver Broncos running backs coach under head coach Nathaniel Hackett. The two worked together on the Jacksonville Jaguars staff previously.
Wheatley joined the coaching ranks in 2007 and has been coaching ever since – most recently serving as head coach for Morgan State. He decided to jump back into the NFL and he’ll now be coaching against his former team twice a season. There will be another layer added to the matchups if Wheatley Jr. makes the roster.