One year can make a big difference in the trajectory of an unproven player’s NFL career.
After an ankle injury handed Darren McFadden his annual sidelining, undrafted rookie Jeremy Stewart got a brief opportunity to see snaps with the Oakland Raiders last season. During that time, he showed capable running ability and efficiency as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. This season, he might not even be with the Raiders.
Throughout his four games with the Raiders, Stewart racked up 101 yards on 25 carries, averaging four yards per carry. He also caught eight passes for 82 yards, including a 26-yard snag. While it was far from a breakout performance, Stewart displayed some potential as a backup NFL running back after an underwhelming college career.
Unfortunately for the Stanford product, the depth chart looks a little different in 2013. Although Mike Goodson is gone, the Raiders added veteran backup Rashad Jennings and rookies Latavius Murray and Deonte Williams to the mix. Jennings and Murray have a clear edge over Stewart, while the undrafted Williams stirred up some excitement during OTAs and minicamp. Even if the Raiders do decide to keep four running backs on the active roster, chances are waning that Stewart will win that No. 4 role.
With impressive power and the ability to fill in at fullback, Stewart’s versatility is a plus. His lack of explosiveness as a ball-carrier, though, will hinder his ability to compete during Raiders training camp.
Getting cut isn’t a sure thing for Stewart, but the odds are definitely stacked against him. With a capable backup and two exciting rookies on the roster, Stewart will have to elevate his game to a new level if he wants to stay with the Raiders.
Stewart making the roster may seem farfetched on paper, but nothing is out of the question when it comes to the Raiders.