The Oakland Raiders added a few more players to their stable of rookies on Monday with the signing of LB Frantz Joseph (FAU), LB David Nixon (BYU), WR Shawn Bayes (Kent St.), WR Nick Miller (So. Utah), and DE Desmond Bryant (Harvard).
While none of the signings are official at this time, various sources have reported agreements in place for all five as priority free agents. The two linebackers will join a draft class void of any, but the two receivers will be added to the two the Raiders drafted over the weekend. With the draft and the signing of Bryant, the Raiders are bringing in four rookie defensive ends to their mini-camp starting May 8.
Frantz Joseph is probably the marquis player of the group. After not playing his freshman year at Boston College, he returned to Fort Lauderdale to be closer to his ailing mother. He redshirted a year at Florida Atlantic and then became a starter as a redshirt sophomore.
As a sophomore, Joseph had 61 tackles (39 solo), 2.5 tackles-for-loss, a sack, and an interception. His junior season, he had 131 tackles (64 solo), 12.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions while being on the Butkus watch list. His senior year capped off one of the best careers in FAU history. In that season, Joseph recorded 154 tackles (84 solo), 9.5 tackles-for-loss, and one sack. His FAU record-breaking achievement in tackles was a Sun Belt Conference best, propelling him to the All-Conference first-team.
Joseph was also selected as the defensive MVP at the Texas vs. The Nation Game.
The second linebacker selected fits the mold that Tom Cable addressed at his post-draft press conference. David Nixon was a three-year letter winner at BYU and a team captain his senior year. He started all 13 games at outside linebacker in his final college season being named to the second-team All-MWC and receiving Academic All-MWC honors.
As a senior, Nixon recorded 90 tackles (43 solo), 11.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a blocked kick, three interceptions, and a touchdown. He set a MWC record for career tackles-for-loss with 43 and he was named as the Kurt Gouveia defensive MVP.
Desmond Bryant played in 10 games starting only one in 2008. He had 20 tackles (12 solo), 4.5 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks, and four QB hurries. His senior season was his first since taking a leave of absence from school in 2007.
In 2006, his junior season, Bryant flashed NFL pass rushing potential by recording 6.5 sacks (5 solo and 3 assisted) on the season. He also had 19 tackles (10 solo), 11 tackles-for-loss (6 solo), three passes defensed, and one blocked kick.
Shawn Bayes played in every game but four during his college career. During his senior season, he led the Golden Flashes with 39 receptions for 642 yards and five touchdowns. He also had seven rushes for 38 yards and 31 kickoff returns for 668 yards (21.55 avg.).
Bayes is known to have elite speed and an ability to stretch the field. He suffered a knee injury his junior season, but only sat out for four games during the year. A three-year letter winner, Bayes best season was his senior year.
Nick Miller jumped onto NFL radars after running a sub 4.3 s 40-yard dash at BYU’s pro day. His production and on field stats may have taken care of the rest. The Raiders contacted him immediately after the draft and came to terms on a contract that included a signing bonus.
Miller transferred to Southern Utah after attending Scottsdale Community College and set a school record of 41 kickoff returns for 914 yards (22.29 avg.). To go along with his record, Miller also returned 19 punts for 192 yards (10.11 avg.). He also had 35 catches for 433 yards and a touchdown.
During his senior season, Miller caught 55 balls for 763 yards and three touchdowns. In the return game, he shined by breaking his own record on kickoffs with 49 returns for 993 yards (20.27 avg.) and 24 punt returns for 384 yards (16.0 avg) with one touchdown.
I’m excited, it’s a dream come true for me. The Raiders love speed, they don’t care about size as much as speed. They like to throw the ball and stretch the field, which is perfect for me since those are my biggest strengths: my speed and my ability to get down the field. I still have to go try out and make the team, but this is the first step.
– Miller on his signing with the Raiders
Frantz Joseph: 6’3″ / 235 lbs.
David Nixon: 6’3″ / 223 lbs.
Desmond Bryant: 6’5″ / 260 lbs.
Shawn Bayes: 5’10” / 181 lbs.
Nick Miller: 5’9″ / 175 lbs.