Two years ago, Eddie Vanderdoes looked like he might be part of the Raiders’ long-term plan to turn around the franchise.
Oakland selected the defensive tackle from UCLA in the third round of the 2017 draft, then Vanderdoes played all 16 games – with 13 starts. Though his performance received both positive and negative reviews, Oakland believed he had potential, as shown by the 12 quarterback pressures and 10 hurries he had.
Now, however, Vanderdoes is in danger of becoming a training camp casualty.
Vanderdoes, who missed all of 2018 with a torn knee ligament, is now buried on the bottom of the team’s first depth chart behind Justin Ellis, Johnathan Hankins, Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall (and even Gabe Wright and Ethan Westbrooks).
Though head coach Jon Gruden said this spring that he was eager to see what Vanderdoes could do this season, Vanderdoes has missed a good chunk of training camp.
With the team’s first exhibition game set for Saturday, time is starting to be a factor against him – and especially with a strong duo of young tackles ahead of him in Hurst and Hall.
As Austin Boyd wrote on Heavy.com this week: "At this point, it seems like Eddie Vanderdoes’ body can’t handle the rigors of an NFL career. He missed time in college and has missed a lot of time in the NFL. He didn’t play at all last season and he’s been missing a significant amount of training camp with a concussion.
"Vanderdoes had a lot to prove this offseason if he was going to find a spot on the defensive line loaded with new, young talent. He can’t prove anything if he can’t get on the field. He’s all the way in the back of the team’s depth chart and he could be gone any day now. … It’s a shame because he does have talent."