Keelan Cole is not leaving
Not too long ago at Raider Maven, we wrote about how Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins looked like the favorite for the Raiders’ No. 3 wide receiver position.
That status hasn’t necessarily changed, but it’s becoming clear that the Raiders can have up to four wides who are all capable of making plays.
That’s largely down to the performance of veteran receiver Keelan Cole, who made plays in all three of the Raiders’ preseason games.
Cole is having arguably his best game yet, with three receptions for 44 yards, including this highlight:
It’s the third 20-plus-yard catch Cole has had this preseason, showing both an ability to go deep and make plays after the catch.
It’s not that Cole is out of the woods either, as he’s shown the ability to be at least one effective receiver since 2017.
It was Cole’s rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he led the team in receiving yards on the way to the AFC Championship Game.
Cole averaged 17.8 yards per catch, which was the second best in the league in 2017.
He played as an explosive, high-playing threat in an offense that lacked the talent around him that the Raiders can provide.
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The fact that he was successful with the Raiders quarterbacks should give some optimism about the potential he could have with Derek Carr.
Cole would receive favorable coverage surrounded by receivers like Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller.
Even with all those Pro Bowlers, Carr has made it a point to spread the ball, which means there should be opportunities for receivers on the roster.
Cole, and Hollins for that matter, could be those surprise playmakers who can break free for a big play when the defense overcommits on other targets.
Having that element adds to what should already be one of the most dangerous offenses in the entire NFL.
That’s the standard the Raiders operate by now, and for Cole to achieve that, it’s going to be because he’s a player who can live up to that standard.
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