Without a dominate number one receiver, the Raiders need training camp to establish who will be their number one receiver. Veteran James Jones seems to be the favorite, well Rod Streater, the team’s incumbent leading receiver looks to break-out in only his third year. Combined with Denarrius Moore’s highlight reel play making ability, there should be a constant battle for playing time. Moore seems to have fallen out of favor with the team, but his ability to impact games could put him back into the limelight.
Also, last years’ mid-season star Andre Holmes should not be forgotten either as he caught more than 500 yards in only a season. Further, Cleveland Brown’s cast off Greg Little is another dark horse for some playing time.
In a passing league, you can never have enough receivers and competition among the top four receivers means the Raiders should successfully stretch the field with three and four receiver sets.
However, outside of those four, the competition gets even more difficult for the final one or two roster spots. Usually teams carry four to five receivers on their active roster, and may carry another one for a role on special teams.
Yet the Raiders will have tough cuts to make. Underrated receiver Mike Davis leads a group of undrafted free agents at the position. He played well at Texas and was a surprise free agent signing. He does have a combination of size and speed which make him a nice player for the future.
But the Raiders already have two developmental receivers on their roster. Juron Criner has the type of size you can not teach, and he has shown that in practice, but failed to do it on the field.
Brice Butler, last season’s late round selection, has also shown instances of potential. However, he too has yet to put a complete product on the field.
The thing about putting together a complete product on the field is, a player can not just run crisp routes and catch the ball. As constructed, the Raiders are set to pound the ball so it is just as critical for receivers to blcok. Further, without any star power a receiver can find plays in the screen, reverse, and trick play category. Moreover, the Raiders have a vacancy at punt and kick return which could emply any of the guys at the receiver position.