For what it's worth, this will be an ongoing series of what I think needs to happen, or what I think will happen. For what I think needs to happen, I will obviously put out who, what and when I see as the best moves that are available at the time; for what I think will happen, it will be what I see as the moves that the Raiders will make, although I may or may not agree with them. So, let's get started with this installment, wide receivers...
This is a position that has hamstrung the offense for some years, with players showing enough ability to tantalize, only to have it turn out that they are injury-prone, have unreliable hands, run below-average routes, not have the best work ethic, or whatever else. Time will tell, but this group seems to have some keepers that will change recent history, and if they aren't guys that later turn out to be storied Raiders players, they can hopefully at least anchor the position and give the offense some reliable production.
Butler: Had some plays that he looked good, and some plays that he looked like a deer in the headlights; I say some plays because he didn't get onto the field all that often. My hope is that with a season under his belt, he can relax and play to his physical attributes and think less; OTA's, camp, and preseason will likely have a lot to say about what his future, which can be as a nice WR3/rotational guy.
Ford: One of the guys that flashed, then disappeared under a flurry of injuries. He can make highlight reel catches, but his hands are not reliable enough, in my opinion, for someone that has had limited opportunities recently. Ford is a free agent; I wouldn't bring him back. Adding in the results of his work on special teams, I'm not sure the team will either.
Holmes: A definite bright spot at the position. What I liked most is that he didn't have just a great few plays here and there, but strung together games of pretty solid play, some ups and downs, but with what I saw as steady improvement. That is what you love to see in a young player, and why I am high on this kid's potential. He amy or may not be a WR1 next year, but I believe that if he continues to work hard, his time is coming soon.
Jenkins: A very nice find, not necessarily as a WR, but certainly as who has established himself as the best KO returner on the team, currently. He appears to see seams and set up/follow blocks better than Jones; unless and until we get someone else better to return kicks, I hope we keep this guy.
Moore: Still under contract for next year, Moore had a decent season that saw him be productive at times, but he also had times that he disappeared. Part of that can be attributed to QB play, but not all of it. I like this kid's skill set and explosiveness, but I am more thrilled by consistency. I think that next season may be a make-or-break year, and I hope that he sees that too. It would improve the offense, and his value, to have him be a player that the defense has to respect every snap that he is on the field.
Streater: I love how far this kid has come, given not only his draft position, but also the system that he came from in college. I don't think that he is a real W1, but he can absolutely be a solid WR2. This is a player that will find a way to see the field even on a loaded team; how can you not want players like that...? Even if the Raiders draft/sign a WR1, Streater will post nice numbers.
Criner: Injuries and inconsistency have followed Criner; he is apparently seen in a better light by the staff than by me. He does have great size, and could be a definite weapon in the red zone, and as a possession WR. It's just that I have never gotten the feeling that he is doing much more than relying on his size; given that he has not been particularly productive, and with other young guys at the position that are clearly putting in the work, I don't know that I would be that upset if he was beaten out in OTA's, camp, or the preseason. On the other hand, if the light goes on, or the fire is light under his butt, he would be a nice option to have.
Green: Reserve/futures guy that was just signed. I will be honest and say that I don't much about him. At this point, I see him as a camp body; let's see if he has the skills to be more than that.
Some good young players that can form the nucleus of a solid WR corps; the question is whether or not they will continue to develop. I say yes, based on what I saw this year; I hope and pray that I am not wrong...