As is the case for most positions, there are names that jump out. They are flashy and some team is going to go hard after them and perhaps overspend. This year’s class has at least one such name, and perhaps two.
There is really one true number one receiver on the market — Alshon Jeffery. There’s also the consistent deep threat, DeSean Jackson who led all wide receviers last season averaging 17.9 yards per catch (minimum 25 catches).
Unfortunately, it seems unrealistic to think either of them will be coming to Oakland. Jeffery is going to cash in big time. I don’t expect the Raiders, who have two starters they like, to dump a large sum of money into wide receiver this offseason. They have bigger fish to fry. And the now 30-year-old Jackson’s ego seems unlikely to allow him to be taking a backseat to the likes of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, so he is better suited going to a team that will insert him as a starter.
This may be a ‘wish list’, but it’s best to be somewhat realistic in our approach to the receivers that I could see potentially coming to Oakland along with players who could be a good fit.
Kenny Britt, 28
At 6-3, 215 pounds, Britt has all the physical tools. Until last season, he had never put it all together. In the Rams first season in LA, Britt had career highs in targets (111), catches (68) and yards (1002). And that was with Case Keenum and Jared Goff at quarterback.
What the Raiders would do with him is start Amari Cooper and move him into the slot when Britt came in the game. Cooper could thrive in the slot with his quickness and route running abilities, and this arrangement would mean he isn’t the third receiver and thus play the bulk of the offensive snaps.
Kendall Wright, 27
This former first round pick never totally lived up to his draft status. He did have a single season in which he went for 1079 yards, but since then, his production and availability has waned. He is a slot receiver and has all the athleticism required for that role.
Despite tweaking his hamstring in training camp last year, he had a career high 14.3 yards per catch and an impressive catch rate of 69%. In fact, his catch rate has never dipped below 60% in his career. He is one of those players who some team will look at and think he could find his potential in the right system.
Victor Cruz, 30
This former undrafted phenom once averaged 18.7 yards per catch with 1536 receiving yards. In his first two full seasons, he had over 2600 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. Injuries did him in for a couple seasons after that. He missed half of 2014 and all of 2015 with a torn petalla tendon followed by a calf injury.
Last season was his first healthy season since 2013. He averaged 15.0 yards per catch, with a decent 39 catches for 586 yards. At this point in his career, he may have lost a step. He isn’t the electric player he once was, but can still be productive as a slot receiver.