The Raider's receiving coprs were less than stellar last year. Porter and Curry weren't perticularly fast for the cannons we had at QB. Recent acquisitions have made the receiving corps rather respectable.
1. Javon Walker: I have my doubts about Walker. He's fast, can catch, he seems like a good receiver. But he does have character issues and injury problems that have plagued him throughout his career. Kiffin says Walker hasn't been working out and seemed to lose a step (he also said Carter outperformed him. More on this later) I think that once training camp starts, he should be fine. I look for Walker to be our primary guy. Grade: B-
2. Ronald Curry: Curry is an underrated possession receiver. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in his ability to catch and run. Curry will be a very deceptive receiver. With so much speed in Walker and Carter, Curry can make some big plays underneath. Injury has hampered him in the past, but I'm more confident in his abilities than Walker. Grade: B
3. Drew Carter: I like Drew Carter and think he has a lot of potential. He's like a miniature version of Javon Walker. He's got speed and is used to playing second banana so I'm not worried about character.He's another injury boy, but I think he'll be fine just as I do with Curry. Grade: B-
4. Arman Shields: I like Shields and hope he joins the final roster. He's big, fast, and put up good numbers in the combine. Despite his injury last year, it's not a repeated issue. Kiffin says he performed well at the rookie camp. I think he'd be a quality backup at this time. Grade: C as a starter B+ as a backup.
5. Chaz Schillens: Chaz is just like Shields, big time combine numbers, glowing reviews from minicamp. I can't say much more about him. He's almost a mirror image of Shields. Grade: C- as a starter B+ as a backup.
Future transactions might show the end of Higgins career in Oakland. Todd Watkins is apparently doing well in minicamps and I'd prefer him over Higgins. I see Higgins as a poor reciver and a below average returner. Watkins can easily fill the void of Higgins's departure.
Now onto TE. I was very pleased with the TE roster last year. I think the roster will be changed up more than you think at his position.
1. Zach Miller: Amazing receiving TE. 44 rec. with 444 receiving yards (10.5 avg). He got better as the year went on and Russell began to develop a chemistry with Miller. Zach is fast and can make tough catches. He's also a solid blocker. I think Miller has the potential to be one of the best TE's in the league (especially when an aging Tony Gonzales retires) It's easy to understand why Miller received Raider's Rookie Of The Year Honors and was the best rookie TE last year. Grade: A-
Now I know you're wondering why I only put one TE. I think Madsen may be sent packing. He only caught 4 passes and didn't contribute. In singleback formations with two TE, he still did nothing spectacular. He may stay as a backup but I think Darrell Strong will swoop in and steal the spot. Strong is a good blocking TE who can catch better than Madsen. Strong is a big target which Russell could use underneath. Tony Stewart and the other TE (who's name I constantly forget) might be taken out instead of Madsen, but that's just what I predict.
Overall Grade: B+. Mainly because of people like Miller, Carter, and Curry.