Photo courtesy of Robert Reiners/Getty Image
The former Alameda native waited anxiously for his phone to ring over the three-day draft period in late April. Unfortunately Keelan Doss never heard his name called in Nashville, where this year’s NFL draft was held.
Despite every team passing on him, he did draw interest around the league to sign on with a team as a undrafted free-agent. Doss, growing up just miles away from the Oakland Coliseum, eventually signed a deal with the Oakland Raiders. The local kid was staying home once again. From Alameda high school, to UC Davis, to the Oakland Raiders.
Doss has held his own throughout training camp and currently finds himself in the mix for one of the final wide receiver roster spots. The wide receiver position is arguably the Raiders deepest area on the depth chart, with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams highlighting the well-rounded group. Doss would have an uphill battle to climb in order to stick around for week 1 of the regular season.
Doss got his first look at live action when he hit the field last Saturday for the first preseason game of the year. Doss didn’t start, but he did receive an abundance of snaps throughout the game. In fact, he even caught his first touchdown in a Raiders uniform in the second half. Doss finished the game with two receptions for nine-yards, and the only receiving touchdown of the game.
“I grew up wanting to do that,” Doss told reporters. “I was pretty excited. Emotions don’t usually get the best of me during a game, but during that moment, it was surreal. I just had to calm myself down again and just realize the next play is another opportunity to put more good things on film or put bad things on film, so I had to get back at it.”
Jon Gruden developed a relationship with Doss last January when he had him on his senior bowl roster in Mobile, Alabama. Since then, Gruden has raved about the player, and has reinstated multiple times that Doss will get every opportunity in the preseason and training camp to show his value to the team.
After finding the endzone in his first preseason game, Doss heads to Arizona to take on the Cardinals in week 2 of the preseason, with hopes of making his way in for six points once again. Doss is an intriguing player who has a legitimate chance to make the final 53-man roster if he continues to impress the coaching staff throughout camp and the preseason.
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