I don’t know how to feel about the Oakland Raiders receiving corps heading into camp. On one side, I see tons of potential with speed, good size and athleticism. On the other, I see young and unproven players with a brief history of dropping passes. The uncertainty here makes it another of many reasons I am looking forward to training camp on July 25. Every receiver has something to prove right now.
Head Coach Dennis Allen has been vocal about his desire for Denarius Moore to become the Raiders’ true number one receiver. During Moore’s rookie training camp, he impressed to a high level. Him having a strong training camp performance could say a lot about things to come. Truthfully, a lot of pressure is on Moore this season heading into his third year–2013 should be a make or break year for Moore in Oakland.
Rod Streater impressed me a bit last season, showing good hands, route running and speed–all the tools to be a successful wide-out. Coach Allen certainly thinks highly of the second year player saying,”I think the guy’s got talent. I think he’s a good route-runner. I think he’s got good ball skills. I think he’ll go up and attack the ball. I think he’s a tough kid.”
With Darrius Heyward-Bey gone, there’s an enormous opportunity for Streater to become an every game starter for the Silver-and-Black. I’d like to see all that Allen describes of him in training camp.
How much of a mystery has Jacoby Ford been in heading into his fourth year? It’s like he’s been here for such a long duration, yet so little at the same time. Not too long ago, ex-Head Coach Hue Jackson was touting Ford as the next big thing. One thing is for sure, his speed and return skills are dazzling. In 2011 he had one return touchdown and averaged 31.0 yards per return. It’d be nice to see him become more than just a screen receiver. In fact, the return role isn’t entirely his with the presence of Josh Cribbs.
Juron Criner is another breakout candidate to keep in mind. His great size and ability to play the ball at its peak makes him a definite red zone target. Although only thrown at 29 total times, Criner was utilized well from 0-9 yards–catching 13 of 19 targets.
There is even more to watch with a plethora of rookie receivers on the roster, including Brice Butler, Conner Vernon, Sam McGuffie and Greg Jenkins all lobbying for a spot on the roster and gaining a role.
Many more training camp previews to come, keep it locked here.