The Las Vegas Raiders continued adding undrafted players earlier this week, Stony Brook’s TJ Morrison, a defensive back, was among them.
Many folks seem to overlook players added after the draft as ‘camp bodies‘ or ones that won’t make the final roster. These are fair points but at the same time, there could always be a diamond in the rough. Morrison, a five-foot-nine defensive back from Stony Brook University, hopes to surprise folks. Signed a few days ago, Morrison will be joining a defensive backfield that’s now crowded with youth.
General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have made it a point to bring in players who exemplify what they believe is ‘character.’ Well, they’re certainly getting that in Morrison. The cornerback turned safety, excelled in academics, he’s on track to receive his bachelor’s degree in business management. In addition, Morrison was recently nominated for hardware that further proves his leadership and football acumen. Said hardware is the William V. Campbell Trophy, an important honor bestowed upon those demonstrating strong qualities such as academic performance along with delivering on the football field.
What can Morrison bring to the Raiders?
In an interview with Jimmy Williams of NFL Draft Diamonds, Morrison pointed out his strongest attributes as a person and football player. When asked what his teammates believe is his strongest quality, Morrison alluded to his leadership. He fancies himself a ‘natural born leader,’ which is something the Raiders no doubt took into consideration. The current Raiders’ brain trust believes in building a culture as they add leaders to help with that goal. He also mentioned current Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love as the best player he faced during his collegiate career.
“With regards to scheme, I’m comfortable playing almost anything from press, off, slot, and deep 3rd. I have the ability to tackle and have position flexibility. I’m mostly projected as a slot corner in the pros. I’ll also gladly play special teams. I’ve played on many different units for the last 4 years. I have also seen a bit of action as a return specialist.”
Probably most important in all this will be how Morrison fits into the team’s plans moving forward. Morrison made it known he’s willing to contribute wherever he can, it seems the team might have itself another Gruden Grinder this offseason.
You May Also Like: Las Vegas Raiders UDFA Spotlight: BYU TE Matt Bushman
*Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/The Mercury News