The Oakland Raiders have continued to try and expand their group of wide receivers due to a number of injuries. Bringing in Trevor Davis three weeks ago was one move they made, and then they traded for Zay Jones earlier this week in a deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Jones has had an up-and-down professional career so far in his two-plus seasons with the Bills. After a mediocre rookie campaign, he had a solid season last year, hauling in 56 receptions for 652 yards seven touchdowns. One troubling aspect of his career has been his catch rate, which has yet to peak above 60%.
Despite that, head coach Jon Gruden sees natural talent in Jones that he believes could help the Raiders, via Myles Simmons of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Gruden called new #Raiders WR Zay Jones a productive player who he liked coming out of college. Says Jones has a lot of natural skills that are “well worth looking into." Added he'll be teaching Jones some plays this week.
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) October 8, 2019
It seems that Gruden is anxious to add Jones to the mix as soon as he can, which is why he is using the bye week to teach him the playbook. Really, there is no blaming him as the Raiders have been dealing with a nasty injury bug. Lead receiver Tyrell Williams missed the Week 5 matchup with the Bears, as did Dwayne Harris and J.J. Nelson, who has only played in two games so far this season.
The severely depreciated receivers group allowed for Davis, Keelan Doss and Hunter Renfrow to see some extended playing time against Chicago. However, it was Josh Jacobs who stole the show, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time in his career.
Jones had some solid years during his four-year tenure at East Carolina University. His final two years, he totaled 2,845 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, prompting the Bills to select him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. As mentioned his catch rate has been of concern, especially his year when it has dropped back down to less than 40%. Hopefully being paired with Derek Carr and Gruden will change his career for the better as the upside has always been there.