Entering 2023 Training Camp, Raiders.com will preview every position group and evaluate the players who will potentially make up the 53-man roster. Here's a look at a newly constructed tight end room.
This offseason for the tight end room has been one of change and growth.
After trading Darren Waller to the New York Giants, the Raiders signed two players that add talent and experience in O.J. Howard and Austin Hooper. Howard enjoyed a decorated college career at Alabama, before he was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first-round pick in 2017. As he's battled various injuries throughout his NFL career, he's proven to be a productive player when healthy with 17 receiving touchdowns in his six seasons in the league.
As for Hooper, he's provided durability and exceptional route running ability throughout his seven year NFL career. He's started 59 games, recording 25 career TDs and earning two Pro Bowl selections. He also boasts a career 72.4 catch percentage.
The Silver and Black also brought in two rookie tight ends who made history at their respective college programs. Michael Mayer was drafted in the second round out of Notre Dame, where he was an All-American and broke the school record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a single season. He also set the Fighting Irish's single-season record for tight ends in receptions and receiving yards.
John Samuel Shenker is a UDFA signing from Auburn University, where he played five seasons. Shenker is the Tigers' record holder for career catches as a tight end (68) and second in tight end career receiving yards (779). The 6-foot-3, 242-pounder also recorded 27 reps on bench and ran a 4.53 unofficially in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
The Raiders return two young tight ends fighting for a spot on roster in Jesper Horsted and Cole Fotheringham.
Horsted made a great impression last season in Training Camp, ultimately making the 53-man roster. He played a career-high 15 games for the Silver and Black last season, used primarily in run blocking plays and special teams. Fotheringham, a UDFA signing from Utah, was on the practice squad last season. He appeared in 38 games in college, totaling 52 receptions for 526 yards and three touchdowns.
View photos of the Las Vegas Raiders tight ends heading into 2023 Training Camp.