Raiders WR Zay Jones is Inching Closer to Earning a Roster Spot

It’s been a perfect storm of sorts for wide receiver Zay Jones over the past few months – at least, that is, in terms of making a Raiders roster that few were predicting he would make at the end of last year.

For Jones, the timeline has gone something like this…

First, he put in considerable time with Derek Carr in the offseason. Interestingly, it was Jones who reached out to Carr and initiated the workouts. No receiver worked more with Carr since the end of the 2019 season than Jones.

From there, Jones took off some weight in the offseason and improved his agility. He moved on to putting together a solid training camp and got a little good fortune recently in the form of Tyrell Williams’ shoulder injury. Jones might have been the last wide receiver cut prior to the Williams injury, but now he is nowhere near as replaceable.

Furthermore, Jones is in his second year with Jon Gruden and is feeling a lot more comfortable in his complicated offense.

“There’s a lot of language, a lot of verbiage that goes into [Gruden’s offense],” Jones told reporters this week. “So being my second year with the playbook, just understanding what’s all going to go into it. Now I can be versatile, now I can go inside and I can move outside, I can go X, I can go Z and really understand the language and getting these details down. So now when I’m going into the summer I can practice these routes at full speed without hesitation, because I know what I’m doing. Now I can put my own flavor on things, now I can add a little bit to the route.”

All things considered, Jones has a very good chance of making the Raiders’ final roster. Gruden lives his ‘grinders’ and there is no question Jones has turned into one.

Apart from all the work that he has put in, Jones also has going in his favor that the Raiders invested a 2021 fifth-round pick in him less than a year ago. Gruden will absolutely like to still have him on the roster when the 2021 draft rolls around.

twitter: @raidersbeat


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