Keelan Doss is a native of Alameda, California where he starred for the local high school on both the football field and the basketball court. A three-year letterwinner on the gridiron, Doss earned All-West Alameda County Conference first-team honors after catching 29 passes for 577 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.
Doss committed to play at the University of California-Davis, electing to stay close to home for his college career. As a freshman, he started a pair of games while playing a role in 10 total contests. He would go on to finish second on the team with 325 yards on 22 receptions.
After a redshirt season in 2015, Doss returned to the starting lineup where he broke out with 66 receptions for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to earning Second-Team All Big Sky honors.
Things only got better from there for Doss who continued his swift rise to the top of the FBS receiving charts. During the 2017 season, Doss set numerous school records with 115 receptions, 1,499 receiving yards, and nine games of over 100 yards, all of which became new single-season records. For good measure, he even scored on his first career rush which he took 42 yards to the house. His efforts earned him consensus All-American honors and he was named the Big Sky Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. To cap it all off, he also made it to the semifinals for the Walter Payton Award (FCS Heisman equivalent).
Doss finished off his illustrious college career with another productive season where he set his own school record by hauling in 118 passes for 1,334 yards and nine more touchdowns. He notched another set of All-American honors before going on a lengthy postseason process that involved invites to both the East-West Shrine Bowl, the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and the NFL Combine. In the Senior Bowl, he finished with four receptions for 55 yards during the all-star game.
Despite his extremely productive college career, Doss would go undrafted in 2019 before signing with the Raiders as a UDFA. Doss made an impression on the Raiders during the Senior Bowl as he was coached that week by then-head coach Jon Gruden.
After being cut by the Raiders during their final roster trim down, he signed on with the Jaguars for just a week before the Raiders came calling again to sign him to their active roster. After spending the better part of two seasons with Gruden, Doss would be released by the Raiders which led to short stints with the Falcons, Jets, and Giants prior to landing with the Chargers on October 5th, 2022. On January 17th, 2023, Doss signed a reserve/future contract to stay in Los Angeles.
College: UC Davis
Years with team: 1
“Keelan Doss signed a 1 year, $940,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $940,000. In 2023, Doss will earn a base salary of $940,000, while carrying a cap hit of $940,000.” - Spotrac.com
Doss came out of UC Davis with high praise for his technical work as a route-runner. He has soft hands and has the coordination to consistently pluck balls out of the air. His production in college was massive and that’s exactly what you want when evaluating FCS players.
He offers great size at 6’3 and over 210 pounds which certainly fits the mold of a Chargers wide receiver.
Despite the collegiate numbers, Doss ending up undrafted says a lot about what NFL evaluators truly thought of him. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein expected Doss to come off the board sometime in round five but he ultimately never heard his name called. This tells us there were shortcomings that casual fans probably weren’t aware of and they were too much of a red flag to even warrant a late-round dart throw. His inability to stick on with a team also tells us that those evaluators were probably right in their initial thoughts.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2023?
Doss is certainly headed straight to the practice squad after the Chargers added two new receivers this offseason in Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis. With Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton, Johnston, and Davis essentially making up the team’s six wideouts, I don’t believe any receiver outside of that group has a shot of making the active roster.