Jon Gruden’s offense requires wide receivers to play multiple positions. The most effective version of this offense would have receivers who can win in a variety of ways. The Raiders WRs in 2019 struggled to win deep down the sideline. Adding a player who can add this element to the offense will be priority No. 1 for Mike Mayock this offseason.
Let’s take a look at an impending free agent and incoming rookie to see if they could be Raider targets this offseason:
Breshad Perriman - 2020 Free Agent
Perhaps not a household name, Perriman is a former first round pick who became a deep ball specialist for the Tampa Bay attack down the stretch in 2019. In his last four games of 2019, Perriman went for 419 yards and five touchdowns.
WR Breshaud Perriman: Potential FA target for the Raiders in 2020 pic.twitter.com/5It9vJszQr— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) January 20, 2020
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Perriman will turn 26 after the 2020 season begins. He boasts first round size and athleticism, which helped him reel in deep passes with regularity, even if he played third fiddle to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin last season.
He doesn’t run a complete route tree and he doesn’t have the stop-start quickness to be a consistent after the catch runner. But what he does, he does really well: playing the deep ball in the air and contorting his body to make acrobatic catches down the field.
He would fit in well on this Raiders team because he’s a deep threat who can threaten the top of the defense from any alignment. In the clip shown above he roasts former Raiders CBs Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin, so he’s at least better than those guys.
Devin Duvernay - 2020 Draft Target
Of course getting CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy in the first round should be a priority. Even if the Raiders do manage to land one of those two, they could still take a swing at the WR position in the third round. Taking advantage of a loaded WR class to infuse youth and talent at the Raiders weakest position group on offense wouldn’t be a bad plan.
WR Devin Duvernay: Potential draft target for the Raiders in 2020 pic.twitter.com/vjKFrv9nZq— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) January 20, 2020
Duvernay wins in a wide variety of ways. Despite only playing in the slot at Texas, the speedy WR challenged defenses down the field and and turned short passes into long gains quite regularly. With more of an RB build at 5-foot-11 and 212 pounds, he has the physique and speed to be a run after the catch specialist in the Raiders offense.
He needs to work on a few things in his game. At times he can take a false step and reset his feet at the line of scrimmage before getting into his route. He also shows some extra steps when changing directions and making hard cuts at the top of his route. For these reasons, it’s possible that he could still be available when the Raiders are on the board in the third round.
With such a talented crop of receivers in the 2020 draft, there are so many ways the Raiders could go. Duvernay is someone who has versatility and a proven pathway of success in the NFL (see 2019 Deebo Samuel).