NFL Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders Suddenly Have a Crowded WR Corps; Who Will Make the Cut?

Which Wide Receivers Will Make the Cut for the Raiders in 2014?

Streater
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland didn't find a receiver they loved enough to justify using a precious draft pick on. Instead, they've opted to groom the younger talent on their roster, and possibly find a castoff or two who can contribute. With the Raiders likely to only keep 4 or 5 of them on the roster, and only so many balls to go around, the battle for WR spots will likely be one of camp's hottest fights. With some talented receivers in house, who will make the cut?

1. James Jones

Jones
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

1. James Jones

Jones
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of only two locks to open the season for Oakland, Jones was brought in to help groom a young and talented, but inconsistent receiving corps. He was also brought in to be a solid, reliable target for new QB Matt Schaub who can move the chains and be deadly down in the red zone – an area Oakland has struggled in. Jones is a solid add who will provide experience and consistency at the WR spot.

2. Rod Streater

Streater
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Rod Streater

Streater
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Streater began to emerge as a legitimate deep threat and a potential number one receiver last year. Along with Jones, Streater figures to see a lot of balls thrown his way this year, and perhaps under Jones' tutelage, will blossom into the reliable, consistent number one Schaub the Raiders desperately need. Look for Streater to have a real breakout year in 2014.

3. Denarius Moore

Moore
Kelly L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

3. Denarius Moore

Moore
Kelly L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Moore is one of the most explosive receivers on the roster. He moves very well in open space and is a threat to break a big one on every play. But his frequent mental lapses and dropped balls have made him a frequent liability on the field. If he can overcome those lapses, he'll get a lot of playing time behind Jones and Streater. If not, his explosiveness may be an attractive commodity on the trade market.

4. Andre Holmes

Holmes
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Andre Holmes

Holmes
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Holmes showed flashes of brilliance at times last season, but his wild inconsistency kept him on the sidelines more often than on the field. He didn't see much action in 2013, catching only 25 balls for 431 yards, but at times, he was spectacular. If Holmes can overcome his inconsistency, and prove in camp that he can be a more reliable target in Oakland's offense, he very well could move up the depth chart and see more balls thrown his way.

5. Juron Criner

Criner
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

5. Juron Criner

Criner
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With only 3 catches for 32 yards last season, Criner was something of a forgotten man in Oakland's offense. His frequently dropped passes led to him falling out of favor with the Raiders and he is facing an uphill battle just to keep his roster spot for 2014. It would be a bit of a shock if Criner was actually still on the roster when the season opened.

6. Greg Little

Little
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

6. Greg Little

Little
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Like the majority of Oakland's receiving corps, Browns throwaway Greg Little has showed flashes of brilliance, but has been plagued by drops and inconsistency. Claiming him off waivers, given his history of issues on the field and off, was a curious move. But perhaps the team feels that under Jones' tutelage, he can finally develop into a top flight receiver. If little makes the squad – big if – don't expect to see him in heavy rotation.

7. Brice Butler

Butler
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

7. Brice Butler

Butler
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

He caught 24 balls a season ago, but has never displayed the explosive potential some others on the roster have. He's big, lanky, and quick, but he seems to be little more than a role player and situational receiver best suited for decoy duty, at best. Butler will need to have a dynamic camp just to stay on the roster this year, and a Hall of Fame type camp if he hopes to not just stay, but climb the depth chart.

8. Undrafted Free Agents

UDFA
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

8. Undrafted Free Agents

UDFA
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

They've already released DJ Coles, but there are still some interesting prospects in their crop of UDFA's such as former Texas WR Mike Davis and San Jose State's Noel Grigsby. The Raiders are searching for a diamond in the rough, like Rod Streater, in this year's UDFA class, but they're all long shots to make the roster. More than likely, the UDFA's will provide some camp competition but will be released before the season begins.

So Who Will Fill Out Oakland's Receiving Corps?

Black Hole
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So Who Will Fill Out Oakland's Receiving Corps?

Black Hole
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders have some explosive talent on the roster, receivers with a ton of potential who are battling consistency issues. The addition of a veteran like Jones will likely help the receiving corps grow and mature, and the Raiders hope, help turn them into the completely dynamic offensive unit they've showed that they can be.

If the Raiders keep only five receivers this year, look for them to be Jones, Streater, Moore, Holmes, and Little.