With $66 million to spend in free agency, many experts thought the Raiders would bring an elite pass rusher to Oakland. But with Brian Orakpo and Greg Hardy off the market, might the Raiders target a different position? One player to watch is Bronco's receiver Eric Decker who had a career season last year.
But ever since Super Bowl XLVIII in which Decker only had one reception for 6 yards, he has been deemed as overrated. ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha recently wrote an article explaining why Eric Decker is not a number one receiver; his main argument being that Decker's value was inflated by Peyton Manning. Why this may be partially true, Decker is the best available option for the Raiders.
At 6-3, 214 lbs, Decker has the size to be a true number one receiver. His speed is good enough to make him a constant threat. But what separates Decker from the rest of the pack is his reliability. With 87 receptions last year, Decker has established himself as one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL.
Eric Decker: 2012-2013 Highlights (via TheBroncoJohnson)
While the Raiders have lots of young potential in their receiving corps, no one has consistently produced. With consecutive 1,000 yard and 10 touchdown seasons, Decker would provide the Raiders much needed stability. He could play the number one receiver allowing Rod Streater to match-up against the number two Cornerback. This would allow the Raiders to place Denarius Moore in the slot where his speed and agility would make him lethal.
With Brian Orakpo and Greg Hardy signed, the Raiders are running out of available pass rushers in free agency. And with no star Quarterbacks available to sign, the Raiders must look to the draft where they can upgrade both positions. But the one glaring need that the Raiders can fill now is Wide Receiver and Eric Decker is clearly the best option. Adding a veteran presence such as Decker will significantly help mold the young talent on Oakland's receiving corps such as Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. In Decker, the Raiders might find their first 1,000 yard receiver since Randy Moss in 2005.