Joe Hansley, WR Colorado State
With now Cleveland Browns receiver Rahsard “Hollywood” Higgins pulling a majority of the targets from Colorado State’s first-year starting quarterback Nick Stevens, Colorado native Joe Hansley managed to fly under the radar as the Rams’ No. 2 receiver in 2015.
At Colorado State, Hansley accumulated 28 receptions for 415 yards and six touchdowns in 2015.
At 5’10”, 180 pounds, Hansley has never had the size to set himself apart from the bigger, physical receivers, and with that being said, he has relied on his versatility and work ethic to continue to keep his NFL dream alive. Also, Hansley has previously been praised for his hands by Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio during OTAs.
Though Hansley may have an opportunity to show off his hands if he takes some snaps away from Seth Roberts from within the slot, Raiders special teams coach Brad Seely has hinted that Hansley could land himself a significant role in the return game.
“I think with Joe Hansley, he proved it in college,” Seely said, per Raiders.com. “He was a good punt returner. We evaluated him as a punt returner and thought he was very good. We’re happy to have Joe.”
Hansley averaged 12.81 yards per punt return and scored two touchdowns on 21 attempts in 2015.
Of the six UDFA receivers competing in Oakland, McCaffrey is the favorite to take offensive snaps during the regular season, which of course, pushes Hansley further down the depth chart; however, he will have an opportunity to find his way onto the field if he can cement himself as the Raiders’ starting punt returner through training camp and into the regular season.