Raiders sign wide receiver J.J. Nelson


ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent WR J.J. Nelson, the club announced Friday.

A 5-foot-10, 160-pound wide receiver, Nelson enters his fifth year in the NFL and first with the Raiders having previously spent his first four years with the Arizona Cardinals after being drafted by the club in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. In his first four seasons, Nelson appeared in a total of 56 contests and made 15 starts, tallying 81 receptions for 1,439 yards (17.8 avg.) and 10 touchdowns, while also adding 12 rushing attempts for 120 yards and an additional score. In two post season appearances, Nelson caught three passes for 33 yards and fielded three kickoffs for 56 return yards.

Since entering the league in 2015, Nelson's yards per reception average of 17.8 ranks first in the NFL among players with at least 80 receptions during that span. Of Nelson's 11 career touchdowns, five have come from at least 30 yards out, including three from 50-plus yards.

Last season, Nelson appeared in 14 games and made two starts, totaling seven receptions for 64 yards. He appeared in 16 contests for the first time in 2017, while setting career highs across the board in 2016 with 34 receptions for 568 yards, including six touchdown receptions, while also adding four rush attempts for 83 yards and a score.

A native of Midfield, Ala., Nelson played in 46 games for UAB and made 22 starts, finishing his collegiate career with 116 receptions for 2,273 yards and 20 touchdown receptions, adding on 18 rush attempts for 90 yards and a score. He added 76 kickoff returns for 1,932 yards and five touchdowns, while tacking on 35 punt returns for 375 yards, including one returned for a score. Nelson ranks first in school history with 4,670 all-purpose yards and his five career kickoff return scores rank third all-time in Conference USA history annals.

Take a look at wide receiver J.J. Nelson during his time with the Cardinals. In his first four seasons, Nelson appeared in a total of 56 contests, making 15 starts, tallying 81 receptions for 1,439 yards and 10 touchdowns.