Raiders Rookie Mini-Camp: Josh Harper’s Comments


The 2015 Oakland Raiders draft class, including UDFA’s, reported to day one of mini-camp today. This includes former Fresno State WR Josh Harper, who is the most well-known of the undrafted rookies, largely because he was teammates with Derek Carr in college.

Harper touched on that briefly, among other things, during his post-practice Q&A session with the media.

"“I feel like the Raiders organization is headed into the right direction,” Harper said. “Why not try to be a part of something that’s going to be special down the road?”"

When asked about his connection with Carr:

"It was a whole little packaged deal: the organization, Derek [Carr] being here because I know he’s going to help me as much as I can, learning the playbook.”"

Harper added that he has talked to Carr every day about the offense, learning as much as possible in preparation for camp. He also said that Carr has already started quizzing him on various parts of the playbook.

It’s great to say Harper trying to get a jumpstart by learning as much as possible about the offense, and utilizing Carr as a resource is a great way to go about it.

But even though Harper is friends with Carr, he knows that a roster spot won’t be handed to him.

"“I wouldn’t say pressure but I would say you have to show up every day,” Harper said.  “You have to give them a reason to allow you do have a spot on this team. Nothing’s going to be given to you but that’s why you have to show up and make plays.”"

Del Rio was also asked about Harper, and had to this to say:

"“I believe he’s a local guy, right? One of Derek’s buddies. Derek was happy about that. We did not discuss that with Carr prior to getting him here, but I know he was happy to have him join us. But no, he’s a guy that has some return ability, that understands a little bit how to create separation and get open – good hands. We’re glad to have him in the camp and get started with him.”"

An interesting thing of note here is Del Rio talking about Harper’s return ability. 7th round selection Andre Debose will likely get the first crack at returning kicks and/or punts but Harper could also get into the mix.

Harper certainly is saying the right things, and it’s apparent that he has the right mindset heading into camp. But even with James Jones no longer on the roster, Harper faces an uphill battle to make the roster.

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Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Rod Streater are the locks, and Brice Butler, Andre Holmes and Kenbrell Thompkins are next in line. Seth Roberts and Jeremy Gallon are also looming, and Andre Debose stands a good shot of making the roster as a KR/PR.

So Harper will likely have to beat out one of Butler, Holmes or Thompkins for a spot, unless the Raiders want to carry seven WR’s on the final 53 man roster.

What are your thoughts on Harper’s comments today, and also on his shot at making the roster?

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