As East-West Shrine Bowl week kicks into high gear, one prospect that the Las Vegas Raiders should be keeping an eye on is Clemson’s Joseph Ngata. That’s especially true given the uncertainty surrounding the Raiders’ wide receiver corps.
Let’s face it: other than Davante Adams, the Raiders could be retooling their receiving group. Hunter Renfrow is “reportedly” having his name thrown around as a trade target. Mack Hollins played on a one-year deal, with no indication yet that he’ll be back. The rest of the corps is far from untouchable. Keep in mind that the Raiders will have a new starting quarterback in 2023, so a revamped group is a possibility. That’s where a player such as Ngata comes in.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver has the physical tools you look for in a prospect. Originally scheduled to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, he’ll now be playing in the Shrine Bowl. That gives the Raiders scout a front-row seat to watching Ngata. In fact, Ngata is already starting to turn heads at practice in Vegas.
JOSEPH NGATA WHAT A CATCH#CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 16, 2021
Why should the Raiders target Joseph Ngata during the East-West Shrine Bowl?
One of the highest-graded run blockers (78.3) per Pro Football Focus, Ngata has a notable mix of size, length, and reliable hands that make him a threat, especially in tight coverage situations.
Heck of a catch by Folsom alumni Joseph Ngata. The Clemson WR ended the third quarter with a 46-yard grab. H/T @JakeNFLDraft pic.twitter.com/pT6qFOy7d6
— Cameron Salerno (@cameronsalerno1) September 24, 2022
At Clemson, you saw him routinely make the big catch; that’s something that the Raiders need more of. He’s not afraid of getting physical, which is obvious considering how effective he is at blocking. On top of that, Ngata will manhandle defensive backs; his physical play is an obvious strength.
Another aspect of Ngata’s game that should entice the Raiders is his work with special teams. On kick returns, the Clemson wideout averaged more than 23 yards (23.2). That was calculated based on 14 returns for 325 yards in 2019. He received notable recognition for his efforts; Ngata was sixth in the ACC with those kickoff return yards and eighth in the ACC with 14 total kickoff returns.
He could be a potential steal in the fifth round, though he could help his draft stock during the East-West Shrine Bowl as well.
*Top Photo: 247 SportsÂ