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7 Raiders undrafted free agents to keep an eye on this offseason

It’s easy to just focus on the Raiders’ draft picks during rookie camp and organized team activities.

But as the team has shown throughout the years, it lets undrafted free agents earn roles if they show they can play. Center Andre James, linebacker Luke Masterson, safety Isaiah Pola-Moa and punter AJ Cole are testaments to that.

This year should be no different.

The Raiders have several backup jobs and special-teams roles open. That’s one reason why they signed 17 undrafted free agents soon after the seventh round concluded April 27. All will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster and the 16-player practice squad.

Here are a few undrafted free agents to keep an eye on as the Raiders’ offseason work continues with more OTAs this week:

QB Carter Bradley, South Alabama

Bradley, the son of former Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, has impressed thus far. He’s stuck out thanks to his arm strength, poise and advanced feel for the quarterback position.

It makes sense that the son of an NFL defensive coordinator — Gus Bradley is now with the Colts — has a keen understanding of what defenses are trying to do. Carter Bradley isn’t much of a rushing threat, but he is a natural thrower that can stand in the pocket and distribute the football.

He has a chance to compete for the Raiders’ third quarterback job with second-year pro Anthony Brown Jr.

LB Amari Gainer, North Carolina

Gainer played all over the place in college for Florida State and North Carolina. He had so much on his plate he didn’t end up mastering a specific position.

Gainer, listed at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, has the size and fluidity necessary to become a linebacker that can defend the run and the pass. But his best position might be on the edge as a pass rusher.

It’s obvious he has physical traits to work with. The Raiders will have to decide how patient to be in developing them.

CB Ja’Quan Sheppard, Maryland

Sheppard, listed at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, has ideal size and length for a cornerback. That shows up on the practice field.

The former starter at both Cincinnati and Maryland still needs to work on his technique. He could be an ideal player to develop on the practice squad.

CB Rayshad Williams, Texas Tech

Williams, listed at 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, passes the eye test as well. He’s also a solid athlete who’s shown an advanced feel for his position.

Williams could be another player the Raiders try to develop on the practice squad. His size and intelligence give him a chance to earn snaps at some point.

DE TJ Franklin, Baylor

Franklin played all along the defensive line at Baylor, where he totaled 126 tackles and 11½ sacks over five seasons.

He might not be stout enough to play inside in the NFL at 6-foot-5, 257 pounds. But he has enough speed to earn a look as a potential rotational pass rusher.

OL Andrew Coker, Texas Christian

Coker, a four-year starter at right tackle at TCU, brings some intriguing qualities to the table.

He has the necessary frame to play in the NFL at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds. He just needs to get stronger at the point of attack in both pass protection and run blocking.

WR Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State

Griffin could benefit from the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

His speed and explosiveness should be an asset with the league looking to increase the number of kick returns throughout a game. Griffin also has enough skill to earn snaps at wide receiver. It’s just a matter of consistency. He has to show he can be trusted to execute his assignment every play.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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