NAPA, Calif. -- Two times this past weekend in training camp, Eddie Vanderdoes burst through the line to sack Derek Carr. Latavius Murray Jerseys "Well," Carr said with an uneasy laugh, "he never brought me down." True, touching the quarterback is frowned upon in practice, let alone hitting him and taking him to the ground. But Vanderdoes has not had to make contact with the Oakland Raiders franchise quarterback to make an impression on Carr.
The rookie defensive tackle, who was selected in the third round of the draft out of UCLA, joined the first-team defense in the third practice of training camp and has not surrendered the spot since. Amari Cooper Jerseys Rather, he has gained some high praise from Carr. "Very explosive, great hands," Carr said when asked to give a scouting report of Vanderdoes. "He reminds me a lot of the way [Justin] Tuck can get skinny and shoot a gap. The way he plays with his hands, and if he gets beat the first time, he's going to counter again. If he gets beat, then he's going to counter again. Bruce Irvin Jerseys His mind never stops. His motor never stops." Vanderdoes is the prodigal son in Northern California, as he grew up outside of Sacramento in Auburn and has been a frequent subject of the local media. His story is already one of a comeback, having dealt with a torn ACL in 2015 and ankle and bone-bruise injuries that hastened his weight ballooning up to 340 pounds last fall.
But staying healthy and working with a nutritionist and trainer has the 6-foot-3 Vanderdoes closer to 300 pounds, Charles Woodson Jerseys more active and athletic. Even if he missed Tuesday's practice with a sore knee, he returned to practice on Wednesday. Derek Carr Jerseys "I'm in good shape and where I want to be," Vanderdoes said after the Raiders drafted him. Perhaps more impressive is that Vanderdoes has elevated his play despite missing the entire offseason program following rookie minicamp because UCLA is on the quarter system. Then again, as a defensive player, his job is simply to attack the ball.