Breaking: Raiders closing in on deal to sign $34.25 million free agent, a huge target who can win in the line of scrimmage

Breaking: Raiders closing in on deal to sign $34.25 million free agent, a huge target who can win in the line of scrimmage

Undrafted free agent can win at the line of scrimmage

The Las Vegas Raiders’ top three wide receivers are set for the regular season, but the remaining slots on the depth chart are open for grabs. This provides an undrafted free agent like Ramel Keyton, a Tennessee wideout, a shot to make the roster.

Keyton has fascinating size for the position, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing over 200 pounds. Over the past two years, he has caught 66 passes for 1,204 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging little more than 18.2 yards per catch.

So he’s not only large, but he can win down the field, and a lot of that is due to his ability to win at the line of scrimmage, as evidenced by the footage below.

We’ll start things off with a great fade route for a score.

Keyton is facing press coverage and employs a foot-fire release off the line of scrimmage to keep the CB guessing. He gives the corner a jab step to the inside and uses his inside hand to break the trap as the corner bites hard on the fake.

Keyton possesses good quickness and burst, which helps him get some separation on this route. To finish, he goes up and gets the ball, bringing it down in the end zone for six points.

Now, I’d want to see him pluck the ball from the air with his hands rather than catching it with his body, but this is a decent route and he demonstrates some tools to use.

This following clip is similar, only it uses a go route at midfield instead of a goal line fade.

Keyton stems to the inside on his release, causing the corner to bite. This helps to create space on the outside or near the sideline, giving the quarterback extra room to complete the ball.

Again, he uses a strong surge to gain separation and win on the vertical climb. After clearing the corner, the wideout returns to his original course and stacks the corner, which, paired with his release, maximizes the quarterback’s throwing lane. Unfortunately, the ball is overthrown and lands unfinished.

This also highlights one of Keyton’s vulnerabilities. He does not appear to be particularly quick, and it appears that he runs out of gas near the 40-yard line, contributing to the overthrow.

This time around, the former Volunteer will face Terrion Arnold, a first-round choice.

Arnold gets him with a good jam at the line of scrimmage, but Keyton fights back and eventually breaks free. Again, after clearing the corner, the receiver stacks the defender, giving his quarterback plenty of space to execute the ball.

This time, the ball is more accurate, as Keyton leaps up and plucks it out of the air for a beautiful contested catch, resulting in a 30-yard gain against strong competition.

The following clip changes things up a bit, as Keyton jabs to the outside on the release and runs a slant. He is able to keep the corner on his heels and get the opponent to bite on the fake. This enables him to gain separation and win on the shorter route. If this had been a better pass, it could have easily been a third-down convert.

Curls are another effective method in Keyton’s repertoire.

He’s going up against Arnold again here and, granted, Arnold is playing off coverage with a lot of cushion. However, the receiver does a good job of selling the vertical route by keeping his shoulders down, which gets the corner to open his hips and start to turn and run.

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