Las Vegas Raiders: Big surprises from the initial 53-man roster
UDFA Isaiah Polo-Mao makes the 53-man roster
This one is strange. Pola-Mao recorded 99 coverage this preseason and didn’t look too great.
Remember how we talked about Amik Robertson being 9.0 short of allowing a perfect quarterback rating during his rookie season? That was the regular season. Here, in the preseason, Pola-Mao actually achieved what Robertson almost did by allowing a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. The undrafted free agent also allowed 18 yards per reception.
Pola-Mao didn’t impress with his tackling either.
The 23-year-old was credited for 11 total tackles, but responsible for missing 3 tackle attempts. That means Pola-Mao was missing tackles at a clip of just over one-in-four, or 25%. From his safety position, he was given a run defense grade of 42.6.
While this preseason wasn’t impressive by any measure of the word, it’s important to remember that Pola-Mao has just one preseason under his professional belt. The coaching staff saw potential beyond the numbers, and with that, the safety earned a roster spot.
With Luke Masterson, Darien Butler, and Sam Webb all making the roster as well, this tallies four undrafted free agents on the 2022 Las Vegas Raiders roster. This number is equal to the amount of 2021 draft picks still on the team (Moehrig, Koonce, Deablo, Hobbs), and is twice as many as those taken during the 2020 NFL Draft (Robertson, Simpson – who were the two last picks for the Raiders).
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Pola-Mao joins a deep safety rotation made up of Johnathan Abram, Trevon Moehrig, Roderic Teamer, and coverage specialist Duron Harmon. This move should indicate defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has taken deep coverage very seriously.