Moving right along to the third installment in this series - the wide receiver position. The Raiders wide receiving corps isn't going to strike a lot of fear in most opponents but there are some productive receivers in the group and potential for some real standout play. Here is how the Raiders wide receiver group currently stands:
Denarius Moore - 10 starts (13 games), 46 catches, 695 yards, 15.1 ypc, 5 TD's
Rod Streater - 14 starts, 60 catches, 888 yards, 14.8 ypc, 4 TD's
Andre Holmes - 4 starts, 25 catches, 431 yards, 17.2 ypc, 1 TD
Jacoby Ford - 1 start, 13 catches, 99 yards, 7.6 ypc, 0 TD
Brice Butler - 2 starts, 9 catches, 103 yards, 11.4 ypc, 0 TD
Juron Criner - 0 starts (1 game), 3 catches, 32 yards, 10.7 ypc, 0 TD
The top three receivers on this team have a lot of potential among them. Denarius has shown moments of brilliance and his lapses and miscues have been nearly eliminated. He has had some problems staying healthy but not too bad.
Rod Streater is very consistent. He can make the tough catches in traffic but he can also get behind the defense for long catch. He started more games than any other receiver on the team because he stays healthy. What started out looking like Denarius was going to be sniffing 1000 yards, ended with Streater getting within reach of it.
Andre Holmes really turned some heads this season. An unheralded signing after having been released by both the Cowboys and the Patriots in one off-season, the 6-5 receiver show rare receiving skills. He is what quarterbacks like to call a 50/50 guy which means they will throw it up to him with what looks like a 50/50 shot at it, he will come down with it. Teams covet receivers with abilities like. Combine that with his ideal receiver size and the Raiders could have something special. It's still hard to know for certain.
Brice Butler was the team's seventh round pick last year. He shows some potential in camp and preseason but it didn't translate to the regular season and he barely saw the field. He will try to improve and impress next season in the hopes of cracking the rotation but it will only get harder.
Jacoby Ford's time as a Raider is up. He is a free agent and the coaching staff clearly lost their faith in him late in the season which prompted his being inactive the final two games.
Criner is on his last legs as well. He is inactive for most games and with as slow is he is, it appears we have seen his ceiling and it's pretty low.
The issue with this group is there has yet to be an established number one threat who forces defenses to game plan to stop him and who draws defenders.
Team need: Moderate
There is no question what the introduction of a high-quality receiver could do to this group. The Raiders must explore the possibilities in free agency and/or the draft to try and get that go-to receiver. But if they weren't able to land one, it wouldn't be the end of the world. With both Moore and Streater showing the ability to approach 1000 yards and Holmes emerging as a threat, they have three good pieces in place. Not elite pieces, perhaps not even great pieces, but good. Some depth and competition is absolutely needed.