Alabama in the Pros

Former Tide offensive lineman promoted to Raiders’ active roster

Matt Bush - USA TODAY Sports

Another product of Nick Saban and the University of Alabama football program has been promoted to an active National Football League roster this week. 

Prior to its matchup with the Chicago Bears on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders decided to activate Lester Cotton onto its 53-man roster on Saturday.

Cotton, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was not selected through seven rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft and signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent. Before his pursued the league, he was a five-star offensive lineman. 

RELATED: Alabama 2020 NFL Draft projections

After a stellar high school career at Central, Cotton signed in Alabama’s 2015 class and cleared the way for ten 500-yard rushers in his tenure.

He blocked for Damien Harris to produce a pair of 1,000-yard season in 2016 and 2017, while helping Jalen Hurts (quarterback) win Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference in 2016. 

Injuries and inconsistent play cost him his starting role at right and left guard; however, Cotton was still productive on two College Football Playoff national title teams.

The 6-foot-4, 335-pounder hopes to give the Raiders’ offense stability in the rushing and passing attack. 

He played with Josh Jacobs in college and now, the two are back reunited.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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