Fifth-round pick Juron Criner has been turning heads in OTAs, but another rookie receiver for the Oakland Raiders got the call when starter Denarius Moore went down with a hamstring injury this week. Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that former Temple wide receiver Rod Streater replaced Moore with the first team on Wednesday.
This doesn't necessarily suggest that Streater is ahead of Criner, as Criner has been learning Darrius Heyward-Bey's position, while Streater has been backing up Moore.
Tafur reports that head coach Dennis Allen said Streater earned the reps with his hands, route-running, ability to get open and explosiveness. Allen tempered his enthusiasm a bit by reminding us that Streater is still making "rookie mistakes," but added that his athleticism and skills are "really impressive."
Allen also said the team was considering a selection of Streater in the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft. The Hornell Evening Tribune reports that Streater already had his mind made up to go to the Raiders after he went undrafted, even though "numerous teams were calling":
I chose the Raiders because my biggest concern was finding a team that loved me. Prior to the draft, the GM and the wide receivers coach called my old coaches and said that I could play for them and they really liked me. I feel like I could really contribute the most for them.
The Raiders have "loved" Streater for a while. He has already cracked the top five wideouts on the depth chart, which could make Louis Murphy expendable if a wide receiver-poor team comes calling.
So, how did he go undrafted?
Temple had a run-heavy offense, led by Baltimore Ravens third-round pick Bernard Pierce. Streater had 49 catches for 882 yards and seven touchdowns in the last two seasons—numbers that most drafted wide receiver surpass in one season. His lanky 6'2" frame, ball skills and game in the air still stand on Streater's highlight reel:
The Raiders were short-handed when it came to draft picks this year, but it doesn't look like that will stop them from having a surplus of wide receivers who deserve a roster spot.