Raiders Draft: Wide Reciever Debate

Gil BecerraCorrespondent IApril 5, 2009

After looking at many Mock Drafts showing the Raiders picking Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, and even Darrius Heyward-Bey I began to think about the possibilities. 

There's been mention of possibly trading down. Even though Al Davis hasn't done it before, this year has been different. 

News has surfaced about the Raiders not having any visits planned by any of the top-10 guys we've been projected to get. If they have been, its been tight lipped.

For a while, Crabtree was the hands down pick for us, according to draft experts. Crabtree has then been picked on due to his lack of speed.

Maclin, the speed guy Al Davis would "love", was the sure pick next. Then Friday, April 3rd comes along, and another name is mentioned by Matt Mayock. That name being Darrius Heyward-Bey.

What if we trade down? What if we decide to get a wide receiver with our second or third round pick?

Lets take a look at what's exactly out there, no matter what we choose to do:

Michael Crabtree—6' 1"; 215 lbs.; Texas Tech; Projected top-10 pick

OUTSTANDING hands with good size. Great downhill blocker, needs to be appreciated. His lack of speed and foot injury has him slipping.

Jeremy Maclin—6' 0"; 198 lbs.; Missouri; Projected top-10 pick

This guy is flat out EXPLOSIVE. His YAC potential is off the chart. Game breaking return skills. His hands still need to improve along with his route-running. His 4.48 40-yard dash wasn't "blazing," but he's more of a game speed guy.

Darrius Heyward-Bey—6' 2"; 215 lbs.; Maryland; Projected top 20 pick

Here is this year's Mr. 40, with his 4.30 run at the combine. He's explosive because of the speed and size. He has trouble getting off the line when he's bumped along with not being a "go up and get it" kind of guy even though the size is there.

There's all kinds of potential with Heyward-Bey, a team with a veteran to help him sharpen his skills would be best for him. Can Javon Walker teach this guy?

Percy Harvin—5' 11"; 192 lbs.; Florida; Projected late first round (20-32)

He ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine, and did a decent job at catching the ball. He shined at his pro day and ran crisp routes. He's small, and did most of his damage getting the ball quickly and breaking loose.

He's very strong for his size, getting 19 Reps of 225 lbs. at the combine. The only knocks on him are his size, and the question of whether or not he'll be able to shake coverage in the NFL when he doesn't have an open field in front of him.

He' battled injuries in school, but since the end of the season, his strength has improved, so he should hold up.

Hakeem Nicks—6' 1"; 226 lbs.; North Carolina; Projected late first round (20-32)

Hakeem is not going to dazzle you with his 4.63 40-yard dash, but he will out skill you. He can get off the line if he gets bumped, he's got awesome hands, solid size, along with great field presence.

The only knock he's got is the lack of speed. But if you have a guy this size who can run a route, catch the ball in traffic/the air and beat bump-and-run coverage, then who cares about the 40?

Kenny Britt—6' 3"; 218 lbs.; Rutgers; Projected late first round (20-32)

Kenny is big and agile. He can read coverages pretty good and find seams. Surprisingly quick feet for a big guy. Known for being a good downhill blocker (will open HUGE runs for running backs in the NFL). The only negative I saw on this man was the fact that he wasn't tough enough, and his hands are inconsistent.

Brian Robiskie—6' 3"; 209 lbs.; Ohio State; Projected second/third round pick

Robiskie has solid size and skill. He knows how to use his size accordingly. He can get up in the air to make the tough catches. He can line up at the ends or in the slot. He comes from a football family (his dad, Terry Robiskie, is a current recievers coach in the NFL). He's known for getting into it with defenders a bit too much, and his lack of game breaking speed is also a concern.

Juaquin Iglesias—6' 1"; 210 lbs.; Oklahoma; Projected second/third round pick

This guy is tough, and will take the hits down the middle of the field. He knows how to get open, his hands are consistent along with being able to be used as a returner. Even though he doesn't have top flight speed, he'll get his YAC. The only knock on him is his speed. Regardless, he'll be a sure hands guy in the NFL.

Ramses Barden—6' 6"; 229 lbs.; Cal Poly; Projected second/third round pick

At 6' 6" this is a HUGE target. He's got good hands while on the ground, he can get off a jam at the line of scrimmage, and thanks to his size, he's a dangerous red zone weapon.

He needs to develop his hands some more so he can hold on to those balls thrown up for grabs. Lots of potential, but how will he hold up in the NFL after playing at a small college, against lesser competition?

Louis Murphy— 6'  2"; 203 lbs.; Florida; Projected second/third round pick

This man ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, which does not hurt. He can get off the line fast, and is dangerous after the catch. He's not that physical, so press coverage might be an issue for him.

Even though he'll go down the middle of the field, he drops ALOT of those passes. He has a bad habit of body catching, which is an NFL no-no, so he'll get rocked and lose the ball.

Derrick Williams—6' 0"; 194 lbs.; Penn State; Projected third round pick

This guy is tough. He can get open, run nice routes, catch the ball with his hands, and has moves to get free of press coverage. He took some snaps direct from center in college, so he's versatile. He got dinged up due to him not being the main 'go to guy' at Penn State. 

He did not deal with the best defender at all times, so his production can be via second/third defensive backs on a team. He can be good with some work.

These are some viable options that will all be available to the Raiders. We will need help at this position. As of today, our WRs are:

1. Javon Walker—Declining in talent, but can be a serviceable possession catch guy.

2. Johnnie Lee Higgins—Explosive down field speed; he can break it (as we all saw).

3. Chaz Shillens- Solid size; If he stays healthy, we'll see what he has.

4. Jonathan Holland—6' 1", 195 lbs. with a 4.4 40-yard dash; 0 catches in 2008.

5. Todd Watkins—6' 3", 195 lbs. with a 4.45 40-yard dash; 0 catches in 2008.

6. Arman Shields-  6' 1", 195 lbs. with a 4.44 40-yard dash; on IR last year.

How does the NATION feel about our current WRs and potential rookie pick ups?


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