Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has made plenty of surprising roster moves since being hired in January. The decision to cut All-Pro punter Marquette King was confusing, trading 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack was frustrating and releasing, then re-signing Martavis Bryant was … something.
But what Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther most recently decided to do is interesting in its own right. As Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal first revealed, the Raiders have changed practice squad wide receiver Johnny Holton’s position. He’ll now switch from wideout to cornerback.
Raiders OC Greg Olsen said that WR Johnny Holton has been moved to cornerback. “Just a valuable football player.” Team has logjam at WR. Holton has value on special teams. Could be way of getting him back on 53-man roster.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 13, 2018
Seeing players change positions early in their career isn’t overly surprising. Many rookies who are just looking for a chance to make an NFL roster will remain open to position changes, but this move is a bit different. As The Athletic’s Vic Tafur points out, Holton has actually never played cornerback in his life.
Holton has never played cornerback in his life. He is excited about today’s practice
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 13, 2018