Raiders Go To Familiar Pipeline Again, Sign USFL Touchdown Reception Leader

Continuing a busy offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders chose to add more depth to their wide receiver group today by signing Isaiah Zuber. He’s the current USFL touchdown reception leader who formerly played for the Houston Gamblers. As the team prepares for training camp and the upcoming Hall of Fame game, let’s take a look at the squad’s newest member.

Who is Isaiah Zuber? What does he bring to the Las Vegas Raiders?

Before making his debut in the USFL, he had a cup of coffee with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2020. During his brief stint in Foxborough, Zuber appeared in four regular-season games, starting none of them but amassing two receptions for 29 yards and zero touchdowns. Later, the Patriots let him go, and he was picked up by the practice squad.

He subsequently made his way to the USFL. Once there, he played for the Houston Gamblers, where he made some jaw-dropping plays. Some of those plays made opponents seem silly for trying to defend him one-on-one. While the adjustment from the USFL to the NFL should be seamless for him, this is his time to demonstrate that he has improved. As previously stated, he leads the league in touchdown receptions with five this season.

Zuber is also a relatively quick receiver, clocking a 4.55 at his pro day for Mississippi State, and at five-foot-11, he has good height for his position. With these qualities, he provides yet another option for Derek Carr to throw to.

Potential role on kick and punt returns for Zuber

One aspect that is overlooked is Zuber’s return specialist abilities. In the USFL, he netted 425 kick return yards, putting him seventh among the top ten in the league. Even as a collegiate player at Kansas State and Mississippi State, he averaged 16.3 yards on kick returns and 17.8 yards on punts. Those stats alone can help him compete for a spot on this roster. Perhaps, Zuber can shock some folks and crack the Raiders’ special team’s unit.

Head coach Josh McDaniels once again went with a player he’s familiar with from his New England days. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see McDaniels bringing in players that he might believe can offer something in Vegas. Whether this turns out to be a meaningful signing or just another camp body remains to be seen.

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*Top Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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