Comparing 2014 Raiders to past decade: Wide receivers

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE

Like many of the offensive positions thus far, there hasn't been a lot to get excited about with regard to the Raiders receivers over the past ten years. Big bust signings like Javon Walker and bust draft picks like Darrius Heyward-Bey didn't help matters. Bust quarterbacks like JaMarcus Russell didn't help anything either. The coaching carousel added to the difficulties.

With all the different factors at play, deciding which receiving corps would be ranked where was a bit of a challenge. The stats couldn't be taken solely on face value. But speaking of value, there was some. It wasn't all worthless. Now to see where the Raiders current group would fit in.

1. Randy Moss, Jerry Porter (2005)

Easily the most productive receiving duo the Raiders have had since Tim Brown and Jerry Rice. At the time, that was just a couple years removed. Moss had over 1000 yards (1005) and Porter sniffed those numbers himself (942 yards). Even Doug Gabriel got into the act with 554 yards of his own. Little did we know then, but the Raiders would go the next eight years without a 1000-yard receiver... possibly more.

2. James Jones, Rod Streater/Denarius Moore/Andre Holmes (2014)

This is a very deep wide receiver corps. It's hard to say if any of them will break out and become the number one receiver this team has been lacking, but spreading the ball around could have its own rewards. Last season Streater, Moore, and Holmes each showed signs they were starter worthy. Jones has been a fulltime starter in Green Bay the past two seasons, including posting a hefty 14 touchdowns in 2012. The top two receivers will shake out while the remaining two will still likely get a good share of looks. Giving this unit the potential for the second best production of any the previous decade.

3. Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry/Doug Gabriel (2004)

This season, Porter came within TWO YARDS of surpassing the 1000-yard mark (that's gotta sting). He was starting to look like a star in the making. Curry started just three games but the former college quarterback also looked like a seventh round gem in his breakout third season in the league. He added 679 yards. Doug Gabriel contributed a respectable 551 yards as a third option.

4. Rod Streater, Denarius Moore/Andre Holmes (2013)

As of last season, Rod Streater had established himself as a starting caliber wide receiver and was the team's top target. He put up a decent 888 yards starting 14 games. On the other side of the field, Denarius Moore and Andre Holmes shared the season. Moore was playing well and on his way to challenging 1000 yards when he went down with an injury in week ten that cost him three games. Holmes stepped in as a starter and immediately began opening some eyes to his immense size and talents. He had 431 yards, all of which came after Moore's injury in week ten. The three receivers combined for over 2000 yards (2014, oddly enough) which is all the more impressive considering the Raiders unsettled situation at quarterback.

5. Ronald Curry, Jerry Porter (2007)

With a lost season under fill-ins Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper, and yet another entirely new offense, having two receivers over 700 yards each is a bit of an accomplishment in itself. This one was the one full season under Lane Kiffin. Curry was a steady performer while Porter had all the skills. He would just eventually let his attitude get in the way.

6. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore (2011-12)

In 2011, DHB came out of nowhere to get within 25 yards of 1000 for the season. Rookie fifth round pick Denarius Moore also surprised when he shot out the gates with 618 yards receiving. The offense was clicking in 2011 with Jason Campbell playing well early and finished out by Carson Palmer.

The next season Denarius Moore improved upon his overall numbers (741) but he showed a considerable amount of lapses in his route running and concentration drops. DHB still received most of the starts but his productions began to tail off. Helping matters was the emergence of Rod Streater as the newest surprise receiver product as an undrafted rookie. His 584 receiving yards in just two late starts, nearly caught up to DHB's season total of 606 yards with 14 starts. Not doing this crew any favors was tight end Brandon Myers leading the team with 806 receiving yards.

7. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford/Louis Murphy (2010)

Another season in which a tight end led the team in receiving. It was Zach Miller's third straight season of leading the team in receiving and probably the most embarrassing considering he did it with just 685 yards. Of the wide receivers on the team, the number of starts to receiving yards was backward. Louis Murphy was the most receiving yards (609) despite starting just one game. Jacoby Ford followed that up with 470 yards on nine starts. Darrius Heyward-Bey had the most starts with the worst numbers of the three - just 366 yards in 14 starts. Jacoby Ford had some nice moments as a receiver and even more so as a return man, and Murphy had his moments as well. But a pretty poor performance all around for this group.

8. Randy Moss, Alvis Whitted (2006)

This was the infamous "Bed and Breakfast" offensive season with pretty much the sorriest excuse for an offense anyone had ever seen. Randy Moss gave up on the team and was dogging it, and... Alvis Whitted. This guy started 13 games and didn't crack 300 yards. I mean, come on. Really, it was the emergence of Curry and his 727 yards over four starts that gave this group any kind of positive mention whatsoever.

9. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy/Chaz Schilens (2009)

Another season in which the tight end led the team in receiving yards. At least this time he had over 800 yards (805). The receiving corps was pretty much a disgrace. It was Darrius Heyward-Bey's rookie season and he was a travesty. He started 11 games and had a grand total of 124 yards on nine catches. He gave up as many interception return touchdowns off his body as he had of his own (1). Louis Murphy, the team's fifth round pick, was the best receiver on the team and far outshined the Honorable Mention All ACC turned seventh overall pick. Chaz Schilens, in the eight games he was actually healthy, managed to add 365 yards.

10. Ronald Curry, Javon Walker (2008)

The distance between Zach Miller's team leading receiving yards and the next guy was never so great as it was in 2008. He had 778 yards receiving and the next guy was slot receiver Jonnie Lee Higgins with 386 yards. There were four other receivers to start significant games and it was not pretty. Ronald Curry, Javon Walker, Chaz Schilens, and Ashley Lelie all had at least six starts each and combined for exactly 800 yards. If there is a defense for this, it comes in the large, pudgy form of JaMarcus Russell.

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