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Raiders Season Review: Keelan Cole

New Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Keelan Cole can provide the team solid veteran depth entering the 2022 season

With the Las Vegas Raiders trading away former third-round pick Bryan Edwards, the team's third-wide receiver spot is wide open heading into the 2022 season. 

One recent free-agent pickup that could slide into that role is the five-year veteran receiver, Keelan Cole. 

Previously with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, Cole has shown flashes of big-play ability. 

During his rookie season, Cole saw his production peak, having 42 catches for 748 yards and three touchdowns. 

All of that came while averaging 17.8 yards per catch for the last Jaguars team to make the postseason. 

Unfortunately for the former undrafted free agent, Cole's production hasn't gone up any higher than what he showed as a rookie. 

Cole did record career highs in catches and touchdowns in 2020 with 55 and five, respectively, but that came with averaging a career-low 11.7 yards per catch. 

It was another mixed bag for Cole last season with the Jets, generating a healthy 16 yards per catch but only having 28 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown. 

Numbers like these make it easy to understand why it took this long for Cole to be signed, and why he didn't get any more than a one-year deal. 

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What shouldn't get lost in the conversation, though, is that Cole is going to be operating in what should be a top-flight offense for the first time in his career. 

Cole has never played with a quarterback the caliber of Derek Carr or been surrounded by other receiving threats such as wide receiver Davante Adams and tight end Darren Waller. 

Granted, it won't lead to Cole being any higher on the offense's pecking order, barring injury, but he's entering a system that's designed for talent to thrive. 

There'll be competition for playing time, as Cole could see himself battling fellow free-agent addition Mack Hollins for a spot as the team's third or fourth receiver. 

Cole does have the more proven production, and his experience as a return man could make him an asset on special teams, as well. 

It could all lead to Cole having the most efficient season of his career and helping to stretch the field for the Silver and Black. 

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