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Raiders’ undrafted free agent no stranger to overachieving

Raiders offensive tackle Devery Hamilton knows that in order to achieve his goal of playing in the NFL, he cannot be stagnant. He must keep moving forward toward his goals.

That’s the mindset the undrafted rookie free agent maintains as he pushes to make the team’s 53-man roster.

“I believe if you don’t have a plan, if you don’t set goals, if you don’t have dreams, it can become mundane,” Hamilton said in an interview on the Review-Journal’s Takeaways podcast. “So having those goals, those aspirations, something to work toward, that’s just what keeps me moving.”

At 6’7” and 310 pounds, Hamilton fits the prototype for an NFL offensive tackle. As a Stanford graduate who double-majored in philosophy and communications, and a Duke business school product who still plans on attending law school after his NFL career has run its course, he’s anything but a typical NFL rookie.

A self-professed overachiever who has played both guard and tackle, Hamilton signed with the Raiders about a week after the NFL draft. After not hearing his name called during the three-day event, Hamilton and his team waited to evaluate where the best landing spot for him would be.

It was no secret that the Raiders would need depth for their newly formed offensive line, so they became Hamilton’s choice.

“I wanted to get drafted, but just to have this opportunity as an undrafted free agent to be in the building, to get in front of the coaches, I’m just super excited to keep moving down the road as we move through OTAs and then into minicamp and then training camp.”

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, to a military family, the 23-year-old moved to Maryland when he was about nine or 10 years old. When he posted the first picture of himself in his Silver and Black uniform to his Twitter account, the hashtag was written in his native German. Being uprooted from all he knew at a young age taught him how to adjust to change.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to be in a lot of different places and learn about different people in different cultures,” Hamilton said. “That has definitely rounded me out as a person.”

After coming back from a season-ending ankle injury while at Stanford in 2019, the three-time All-Academic standout also learned what it meant to grapple with adversity. In 2020, while others his age were quarantining because of the coronavirus pandemic and binging the latest on Netflix, Hamilton was busy moving across the country to play football at Duke and pursue a master’s degree in management studies.

Constantly adapting and persevering makes Hamilton the type of player that Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have sought out. A culture fit. A character fit.

Whether or not he makes the Raiders’ roster will depend on how well he applies the mantras he lives by.

“Something that’s always stuck with me is if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. That’s just something I always carry with me, whether it’s in my academic background or my athletic background.”

Heidi Fang hosts the Takeaways edition of the Vegas Nation podcast which airs every Wednesday on VegasNation.com. Contact Heidi via e-mail at hfang@reviewjournal.com or follow her on Twitter @HeidiFang.

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