77°F
weather icon Clear

Senior Bowl leaves mark on Raiders on NFL draft’s final day — VIDEO

Updated April 27, 2019 - 9:31 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Three players the Raiders coached against in January swapped sidelines Saturday when the team selected former Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson, Louisiana State tight end Foster Moreau and Clemson slot receiver Hunter Renfrow during the NFL draft’s final day.

Five players were selected Saturday.

The action opened with former Eastern Michigan defensive end Maxx Crosby in the early fourth round and concluded with former Prairie View A&M defensive end Quinton Bell in the seventh.

The Senior Bowl is a college all-star showcase in Mobile, Alabama, each January. The Raiders coached the North team but received extra exposure to those on the South squad, which the San Francisco 49ers coached.

Along with those three players, the team drafted safety Johnathan Abram in the first round Friday. He was on the South but missed action with a shoulder injury.

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said he received a message from Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy after Renfrow’s selection.

“The text was cool,” Mayock said. “(Nagy wrote), ‘That was your fourth Senior Bowl pick from the South. Apparently, I gave you the wrong team.’ Coaching and being there really helped us a lot. It really is a big deal to be involved in that game.”

Crosby is a high-motor player who showed impressive measurables at the combine.

He posted a 4.66-second 40-yard dash, a 122-inch broad jump, 6.89-second three-cone drill and 4.11-second 20-yard shuttle. Those final two times were second-fastest among all edge defenders. The Raiders want Crosby to pack on strength to his 255-pound frame.

The Senior Bowl run followed Crosby.

Johnson waited for the call, holding a draft party Friday at a Houston restaurant, expecting to be chosen in the second or third round. About 30 family members and friends attended. No call came. Not until the fourth round when Raiders coach Jon Gruden told Johnson he believes he’ll be “the steal of this draft.”

Gruden added that the Raiders almost selected Johnson at No. 40 overall Friday. They took former Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen instead.

Although the 49ers coached Johnson in Mobile, the Raiders were on his radar.

“I was paying attention to the energy of their coaching and what they had their guys doing,” said Johnson, who was considered among the most athletic cornerbacks in the draft. “I was like, ‘Man, this is a pretty good coach and a pretty good coaching staff.’ I knew the whole time that the Raiders had a lot of picks this draft.”

Raiders tight ends coach Frank Smith targeted Moreau.

He worked out the prospect this offseason at LSU. The two also had dinner, Moreau said. He and Johnson could have their most immediate roles come on special teams, given the depth at their positions.

“You know, it’s funny,” Moreau said. “I kind of kept up with (Smith) through the whole process, and I really have an affinity for the Raiders. I obviously have an affinity for Coach Gruden and his staff — one of the great minds in football. So, I kind of hoped this would happen. …I’ve been absolutely killing myself today by watching this freakin’ draft, but it all worked out to be perfect.”

Renfrow became the third former Clemson player to join the draft class. He followed defensive end Clelin Ferrell, chosen at No. 4 overall Thursday, and Mullen. What Renfrow lacks in size and top-end speed he compensates with quickness and sure hands. He’ll compete to be the team’s top slot receiver after the Raiders released Seth Roberts this month.

This is the first time in the Raiders’ 60-year history they drafted three college teammates in the same draft class. Clemson defeated Alabama on Jan. 7 to win the national championship.

Renfrow said that the first thing he did after being drafted is make a video call to Ferrell and Mullen.

“Trayvon switched numbers on me,” Renfrow said with a laugh. “He’s gotten too big league for me. He must have a second phone, so I had to track his number down, but I facetimed both of them. We’re just ready to get to work and bring some of the same stuff we did at Clemson to Oakland, so we’re excited.”

Bell is a highly athletic prospect who is a converted wide receiver.

Like Crosby, Bell must gain weight and — more important — functional strength when he joins the Raiders in earnest. The team will hold their rookie minicamp next weekend. Bell’s uncle, Nick Bell, was a 1991 second-round pick by the Raiders.

The franchise drafted nine players in the three days.

Mayock and Gruden worked together on the process, although this draft class notably had a different flavor than in 2018. Last year’s group featured a greater prominence of players whom other teams flagged for character and/or medical concerns.

The Raiders made a clear point to prioritize character.

And while some prospects carry a longer developmental curve than others, the team noticeably added needed athleticism at edge rusher and in the secondary. Guard was thought to be a positional need, but no selection came there. Denzelle Good will proceed as the projected starter opposite Gabe Jackson, but a future addition cannot be ruled out.

The Raiders also added a number of rookie free agents.

Those include Wisconsin fullback Alec Ingold, UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss, Notre Dame linebacker Te’von Coney, Fordham cornerback Dylan Mabin, South Carolina cornerback Keisean Nixon, UCLA offensive tackle Andre James, Alabama guard Lester Cotton Sr. and Penn State linebacker Koa Farmer, sources said.

The Raiders coached Ingold, Doss and Coney at the Senior Bowl.

It’s important to recruit undrafted rookies and, amid interest elsewhere, compel them to sign as free agents. So, maybe the Raiders didn’t coach the wrong team in Alabama after all.

More Raiders: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

 Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
Gruden Discusses Raider Injury Report - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden mentions multiple players listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Minnesota against the Vikings. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders List Multiple "Questionables" in Final Practice before Vikings Game - VIDEO
The injury bug continues to plague the Raiders as many were listed as questionable and game time decisions for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Coaches Talk Vikings Schemes and the Challenges They Present - VIDEO
Raiders offensive and defensive coordinators Greg Olson and Paul Guenther praised the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff and their offensive and defensive scheme's. They also continued to talk about the continuity the Vikings have (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Sign WR Trevor Davis - VIDEO
The Raiders acquired wide receiver and return specialist Trevor Davis in a trade with the Packers Thursday morning. Davis helps a banged up receiving core as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Vikings
Vegas Nation Mailbag | Raider prepare for a big road trip
The Review-Journal's Heidi Fang and Ed Graney are back for a new rendition of the Vegas Nation mailbag! Send in your Raiders questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Vikings Present a Unique Challenge to the Raiders with 'Continuity' and Offensive Weapons
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr elaborate on what it is that makes the Vikings a tough team to deal with to kick off stretch of games away from the coliseum. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal).
Richie Incognito Returns to Practice as Raiders Deal With Injuries Heading Into Road Stretch - VIDEO
Raiders offensive guard Richie Incognito returned to practice after serving his two game suspension, while Trent Brown and a few others try to get healthy for the team's upcoming stretch of away games. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Gruden and Derek Carr discuss Raiders' upcoming challenge against Minnesota - FULL PRESSER - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr explain what they believe are the biggest challenges the Raiders will face against their opponents on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Latest Allegiant Stadium Drone Video And Updates - Video
New drone footage of the Raiders Allegiant Stadium was released after new details were unveiled to the Vegas Stadium Authority Board.
Raiders relying on veteran leadership for upcoming road stretch - VIDEO
After Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders are leaning on their veteran players to help the team get back on track in their upcoming stretch of games away from the Coliseum. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders lose 28-10 to the Chiefs in Final Game on the Baseball Diamond - VIDEO
The Raiders lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the second game of the season. The Raiders will be hitting the road next week for a stretch of games away from Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum including a game in London. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
With Wide Receiver JJ Nelson out Keelan Doss may see the field Sunday- VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced that wide receiver J.J Nelson would be out on Sunday, opening the door for Keelan Doss to see the field for the first time on the team's 53-man roster. Gruden also talked about viewing Tyrell Williams at WR1. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders put Abram on IR, Sign Juston Burris - VIDEO
The Raiders have officially put rookie safety Johnathan Abram on IR and in a corresponding move signed defensive back Juston Burris. Cornerback Gareon Conley is expected to play in Sunday's game while wide receiver J.J. Nelson is out with an ankle injury. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders hold final practice before facing the Chiefs Sunday - Full Gruden Presser - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden spoke after Friday's practice ahead of facing Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Oakland. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders look to play disciplined against Mahomes, Olson talks O-Line and bringing Keelan Doss back - VIDEO
Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther talked about staying disciplined when playing Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson praised the offensive line, and spoke about bringing back wide receiver Keelan Doss. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gareon Conley limited in practice, expected to play against Chiefs - VIDEO
Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley expected to play against the Chiefs after being listed as limited in Thursday's practice. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson talks about Kolton Miller and his matchup against Frank Clack in Sunday's game. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Derek Carr on Darren Waller - VIDEO
After Monday night's victory over the Broncos, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr opened up about what tight end Darren Waller's story meant to him and what it felt like to see him have become a big part of the win over their division rival's in Denver. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Johnathan Abram Out For Season With Injury - VIDEO
Raiders rookie safety Johnathan Abram will be placed on season ending IR with a shoulder injury sustained in Monday night's game against the Broncos. Cornerback Gareon Conley participated in today's practice after being carted off during the Broncos game. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gruden reflects on his 100th Career win before preparing for the Chiefs - VIDEO
The Raiders' Monday Night Football victory over the Denver Broncos marked Head Coach Jon Gruden's 100th career win as a head coach in the NFL. Gruden was pleased with the performances of Tight End Darren Waller and rookie Running Back Josh Jacobs, but realizes the Kansas City Chiefs present a tough challenge on a short week. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Derek Carr and Jon Gruden ready to stop addressing Antonio Brown - VIDEO
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and Quarterback Derek Carr are both ready to move on from addressing former WR Antonio Brown and maintain focus on the team after season opening victory over the Denver Broncos. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders cap chaotic week with a win - VIDEO
After a chaotic week leading to the departure of WR Antonio Brown, the Raiders handled business in their final home opener in Oakland with a victory over division rival Denver Broncos. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gruden and Carr Speak after Victory over Broncos - Full Presser – VIDEO
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and Quarterback Derek Carr speak after the team's season opening victory over the Denver Broncos. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Watch Party At The Linq - Video
Raiders Fans gather at the Linq to watch the team's first game against the Denver Broncos during Monday night football.
Johnathan Abram On Preparing For First Game Against Broncos - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram talks about preparing for the 2019-2020 season of the NFL and the goals he hopes to accomplish this season with the team.
Antonio Brown's Raiders era is over before it begins
Antonio Browns release from the Raiders capped off a chaotic week as the Raiders try to prepare for their season opener against the Broncos. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Gruden Addresses Antonio Brown Release - VIDEO
The Raiders cut Wide Receiver Antonio Brown and Jon Gruden said he was disappointed that he never got the opportunity to coach him, however Gruden is excited about the upcoming season opener. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders release Antonio Brown - VIDEO
The Antonio Brown saga with the Raiders came to an end when the team released the wide receiver this morning. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Raiders to Watch on Defense in 2019
As the Raiders 2019 debut on Monday Night Football nears, get geared up for the season by checking out five defensive players to watch. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Olson expected Antonio Brown to play Monday night throughout controversy, Guenther praises multiple leaders on defense - VIDEO.
Offensive Coordinator Raiders Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson see's the receiver position as a strength and expected Antonio Brown to play in the season opener. Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther praises his defensive players who have an "A-Type Personalities" (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Greg Olson and Paul Guenther speak after practice - Raiders Press Conference 9/6
Raiders Offensive and Defensive Coordinators Greg Olson and Paul Guenther speak after practice from Raiders HQ in Alameda, CA. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Johnathan Abram's wife on his "Hard Knocks" appearance
Johnathan Abram's wife thinks her husband was annoying on the first episode of the Raiders on HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Raiders Johnathan Abram On Moving to Las Vegas - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram talks about the team moving to Las Vegas and how he is ready to bring his game to the desert in the new Allegiant Stadium.
Raiders Safety Johnathan Abram and Wife Bri'Anna On Being A Football Family - Video
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram and his wife Bri'Anna sit down to talk about being a football family and what it means for their daughter and how it changed their lifestyle.
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
A look at the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson
Don Webb, chief operating officer of the LV Stadium Co., gives the Review-Journal a tour of the Raiders headquarters under construction in Henderson. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts views Las Vegas stadium as opportunity
MGM Resorts International intends to offer tailgating experiences at its resorts before and after events at Raiders stadium. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Raiders, Rams to hold joint practices in August

The “Hard Knocks” television crew gained more material Monday, as the Raiders finalized their plan to host the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams for a pair of joint practices this summer.

Media preparation part of rookie program for Raiders

Dylan Mabin stood behind a lectern Tuesday on an elevated stage inside the Raiders’ meeting room, scouring over about 20 of his fellow rookies.