Johnny Holton has been the Raiders’ best undrafted rookie receiver over the course of this preseason, though it remains uncertain whether that status is worthy of regular-season employment.
The Raiders wanted to evaluate Holton further giving him extended snaps and touches during Saturday’s exhibition loss to Tennessee. He got 38 snaps on offense and a return opportunity in the 27-14 loss, the highest total this preseason.
Holton showed well in practice but hadn’t done much in games heading into Saturday – he had two catches for 24 yards in two exhibitions – but fared well in time working with all three units.
Holton had 91 all-purpose yards. He had three receptions for 54 yards on five targets, a 14-yard run and a 21-yard kickoff return. Holton’s best catch was his last, when he reached around a defender and hauled in a deep pass from Connor Cook.
Holton is fighting for the No. 5 receiver spot, a position generally inactive for most of last year’s games. The Raiders are experimenting with this versatile talent, hoping to determine his regular-season value in these final two exhibitions.
Holton received more snaps than his competition – though other team’s roster cuts could be in the mix as well – though the Raiders also took a look at K.J. Brent and Jaydon Mickens in this game. Other undrafted receivers didn’t see the field in this contest.
There were a few other notable players hoping to make the roster who didn’t play. Edge rusher James Cowser, a second-unit fixture in training camp, didn’t play defense in this one. Branden Jackson took snaps off the edge opposite Shillique Calhoun with reserve units.
Cornerback Neiko Thorpe only played on special teams while Dexter McDonald, his chief competition, saw 13 snaps of defense.
The Raiders gave some of Ben Heeney’s first-unit snaps to rookie Cory James as they continue to evaluate options and package lineups at interior linebacker. Keith McGill also worked in at strong safety in the first half as Karl Joseph continues to work back after missing the offseason program.
The complete snap count is listed below.
39 – OL Austin Howard, Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson
38 – WR Johnny Holton, OL Donald Penn
37 -- OL Rodney Hudson
36 – QB Derek Carr
33 – OL Jon Feliciano, WR K.J. Brent
32 – OL Matt McCants
31 – OL Menelik Watson, OL Vadal Alexander, OL Denver Kirkland
29 – WR Seth Roberts
28 – WR Amari Cooper
25 – TE Clive Walford, TE Ryan O’Malley
24 – QB Matt McGloin
23 – WR Michael Crabtree
19 – RB Jalen Richard, RB George Atkinson III, WR Jaydon Mickens
18 – RB DeAndre Washington
17 – TE Mychal Rivera
15 – TE Lee Smith
14 – WR Andre Holmes
10 – FB Jamize Olawale, QB Connor Cook
7 – WR Marvin Hall, RB Latavius Murray
4 – TE Jake McGee
46 – S Nate Allen, DE Khalil Mack, LB Bruce Irvin, LB Malcolm Smith
44 – CB Sean Smith, CB David Amerson
36 – DT Dan Williams
34 – DL Jihad Ward
29 – LB Cory James, LB Ben Heeney
28 – DL Justin Ellis
25 – DL Stacy McGee
22 – S Karl Joseph, DL Denico Autry
20 – DL Darius Latham
19 – S Keith McGill
13 – LB Shilique Calhoun, CB Dexter McDonald, S Dewey McDonald, CB TJ Carrie, DE Branden Jackson
10 – LB Korey Toomer
9 – S Brynden Trawick
5 – DB Antonio Hamilton
3 – LB Daren Bates, LB John Lotulelei
13 – Shilique Calhoun
12 –Daren Bates
10 – Keith McGill, Cory James
9 – Brynden trawick
8 – Dewey or Dexter McDonald, Jamize Olawale, Andre Holmes
7 – John Lotulelei, Nate Allen
6 – James Cowser, Kyrie Wilson, Karl Joseph, Lee Smith, George Atkinson III, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Clive Walford
5 – Sebastian Janikowski, Korey Toomer, Dewey or Dexter McDonald
4 – Jimmy Hall, Marquette King, Taiwan Jones, Jon Condo, TJ Carrie, DJ Hayden, Darius Latham, Denico Autry, Stacy McGee, Jihad Ward, Dan Williams, Bruce Irvin, Khalil Mack, Jon Feliciano
3 – Mychal Rivera
2 – Greg Townsend Jr., Antonio Hamilton, Menelik Watson, Austin Howard, Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson
1 – Chris Hackett, Drew Iddings, Jaydon Mickens, Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton
NOTE: Snap counts taken from official game book