UNC in the NFL: Ryan Switzer’s role expected to be bigger in Oakland

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Ryan Switzer /

Ryan Switzer is expected to have a bigger role in the Oakland Raiders offense in 2018

It was a little bit of a shocking move when the Dallas Cowboys traded away Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders during the 2018 NFL Draft. A year after the Cowboys selected the former University of North Carolina receiver in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft, they decided it was time to move on and dealt him to Oakland for defensive tackle Jihad Ward.

Switzer admitted that his world was “turned upside” down with the trade, especially since it was coming so early on in his career.

The receiver hasn’t spoken too much about it since then but has participated in OTA’s with his new team this offseason. Switzer is going from Dak Prescott to Derek Carr and could make an impact both offensively and on special teams.

In his one season with the Cowboys, Switzer caught 6 of his 7 targets for 41 yards as he was buried in the depth chart. He did have a punt return for a touchdown that went 83 yards and was one of the top return guys in all of football last season.

Going into 2018, he’s getting comfortable with a new regime in Oakland headlined by the hiring of head coach Jon Gruden who is hoping to take the team back to the playoffs.

Right away Switzer has made an impression on Gruden as the former Monday Night Football broadcaster loves the receiver’s game.

Gruden went out of his way to compliment Switzer during OTA sessions, saying the receiver has caught his eye.

“Ryan Switzer has really caught my eye,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said via Silver and Black Pride.com. “Switzer has come in here and not only been a punt returner, kick returner, he’s come in and been a force as a slot receiver. He’s really done well.”

While Switzer was limited in his targets in Dallas, he’ll have the chance to win the starting slot receiver job in Oakland. Switzer will be in a battle in training camp, fighting for playing time in a rotation that includes Amari Cooper, Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson. After Cooper as the No. 1 receiver, there is some playing time open.

Both Bryant and Nelson are veterans, so Switzer could use the opportunity to learn from them while at camp and during the season.

Switzer’s role will not only be on offense but on special teams as well. He could serve as the team’s top punt return man and see action on kickoff returns.

Next: 5 questions for the UNC Football team

It will be an interesting storyline to follow in training camp and we will keep you updated as camp begins next month.