As teams continue shaping their rosters and preparing for the upcoming season, CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso released his list of rookie sleepers for each AFC team, tabbing one of the Raiders' fourth-round picks.
While pointing out Jakorian Bennett's versatility, along with his 24 PBUs and five interceptions across his last two seasons at Maryland, Trapasso noted the Raiders may have gotten quite a steal by drafting Bennett in the fourth round.
"Bennett had a Day 2 grade in my scouting gradebook. He was that sticky and productive on film. Oh, and he tested like an elite athlete at the combine," Trapasso wrote. "While not quite as big and long as his first-round cornerback mate Deonte Banks, Bennett was around the football more frequently at Maryland and has legitimate perimeter-slot versatility."
One thing that excited the Raiders staff with Bennett is his speed, especially after running a 4.3 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine – the second fastest time of all participants. In GM Dave Ziegler's final draft press conference, he described speed as just one trait they liked about Bennett.
"He improved his ability to defend the football," Ziegler said, "especially making plays down the field which for a defensive back is one of the more difficult things where you're running and tracking vertical routes, your back is to the quarterback, being able to find and play the ball."
The 22-year-old cornerback has been adjusting to the pro level throughout the team's offseason program, as has rookie tight end Michael Mayer, who was highlighted on another recent CBS Sports list of "under-the-radar" AFC players who could have breakout seasons. Mayer, who Head Coach Josh McDaniels considers a leader among the Raiders' rookie class, is one of just five rookies that made the list.
"Tight ends have been heavily featured in Josh McDaniels' offense in the past, and Mayer has a skill set that should allow him to flourish," wrote CBS' Tyler Sullivan. "Throughout the pre-draft process, Mayer was commended for his blocking ability, which should allow him to remain on the field with Las Vegas throughout his rookie season. Jimmy Garoppolo has also shown an affinity to throwing to tight ends throughout his career, so the stage is set for the rookie to impress on Day 1."
View the best photos from the Raiders' second day of mandatory minicamp.