The Oakland Raiders have recently enjoyed unprecedented success with late-round/undrafted rookie wide receivers, with Rod Streater being the latest example. Although he struggled throughout his first NFL season, the Temple product displayed the tools that teams look for in a quality pass-catcher.
While appearing in all 16 games (two starts) as a rookie, Streater quickly became a contributor in Oakland. Throughout the 2012 campaign, he hauled in 39 passes for 584 yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard score. He proved to be an effective deep threat, hauling in five passes of over 20 yards and averaging 15 yards per catch. Other areas, though, proved to be crippling for Streater.
As a key component in the Raiders’ passing game, Streater saw 71 targets during the 2012 season. Of the 46 catchable balls that came his way, he dropped seven, or 15.2 percent. The drops hurt his stock in the Raiders’ eyes and forced former starting quarterback Carson Palmer to lose trust in the rookie receiver. Until Streater proves that his drop issues are behind, his quarterbacks will continue hesitating to throw in his direction.
Still, there’s plenty in Streater for the Raiders to be excited about heading into training camp. The question is whether or not he’s starting to realize his full potential as he enters his second NFL season.
Once training camp kicks off, Streater will compete with Jacoby Ford and Juron Criner for snaps opposite top target Denarius Moore. He offers a bit of versatility as both a field-stretcher and capable slot receiver, which could give him an edge over the rest of the one-dimensional competition. How much he’s improved in the dropped-pass department will be a big determining factor in whether or not he starts early in 2013.
With the Raiders still in rebuilding mode, Streater should get some leeway this season as his development continues. Marked improvement will be expected, though, as the talented-yet-raw receiver enters a sophomore season dripping with promise.