That's right, I said it, Chaz Schilens will be the next TJ Houshmandzadeh.
When I say that he'll be the be the next TJ is because both guys weren't thought of as big-time players and drafted in the 7th Round. Chaz 226th overall in 2008 while TJ was 204th overall in 2001.
Chaz played in the Mountain West Conference for San Diego State. TJ played at a JUCO in Norwalk, Ca named Cerritos College for two years before transfering to a Pac-10 school, Oregon State.
When it came to options going into college, Chaz had those. He was drafted in the 34th Round of the MLB draft in by the Detroit Tigers in 2002. He played well as a senior in High School at Safety, he recored 53 tackles, six interceptions, four deflected passes along with three forced fumbles. Baseball player, College Safety and College WR were his options.
While at San Diego State, he played WR and special teams. His production improved on a yearly basis. In 2003, he red-shirted. In 2004, he saw spot duty in three games.
Finally in 2005, he played a total of 12 games (starting in 12 of those) and was able to compile 31 rec, 441 yds (13yd avg) with two TDs. 2006 marked the first year he started all 12 games. He tallied 34 rec, 483 yds (14.2yd avg) with 2 TDs. He set new career long receptions that year with 40 yd and 49 yd grabs.
2007 was the year he was able to show what he can do. Due to a foot injury, Schilens missed four games only playing eight games this year. With less snaps, he was able to accumilate 35 rec, 679 yds (19.4 yd avg) with 3 TDs. That includes three straight 100yd games and a career long 97 yd TD grab vs. TCU! Look for the long TD 0:15 into the clip.
TJ ended his college tenure at Oregon State doing what he did with the Bengals, play at the same level of Chad Ochocinco. He caught more balls, 42 to 33. Chad out gained him in yards, 713 to 656. They both ended with 6 TD's that year.
Coming out of College, TJ was 24 years old with nothing that would stand out at you in his combine numbers. He ran a 4.61 40 at 6' 1" 211lbs and was projected as a 6th/7th Rounder.
Chaz was knocked due to his foot injury that caused him to miss four games. He was able to heal and take care of business at his pro day. At the age of 22, 6' 4", 210lbs he was able to run a 4.38 40, hit a 43" vertical along with a 10' long jump. He wasn't even projected to be drafted.
TJ needed to be polished as a WR to avoid being a return specialist. He didn't open too many eyes his rookie year. He compiled 21 rec for 228 yds and zero TDs as a WR.
As for Chaz, he didn't get a chance to really play until the end of the 2008 season but was still able to gather 15 rec for 226 yds (15.1yd avg) for 2 TDs.
TJ's numbers slowly climbed in the reception department from 41, 73, 78, 90 to 112 rec from year to year. He was able to slowly improve his stats due to defense's concentrating on Ochocinco. Chad would take a Safety with him opening things up for him.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Louis Murphy, Javon Walker and Zach Miller will all need some attention. Chaz will make things happen. Everyone with the exception of Walker and Miller can burn most DB's and Safeties in the NFL. Chances will be had.
Chaz has shown that he can block. He has been the most consistant of all Raider WRs during Mini-Camps, OTA's and Training Camp. He has shown the ability to run crisp routes, catch anything thrown his way along with being able to accelerate to get away from defenders.
Everyone in the NFL knows, the Raiders will run the ball and run it often. In order to do that, you need solid run blocking WR's. Chaz is just that, a very solid blocking WR. Due to that one fact, he'll receive one of the two open spots at starting WR.
When teams try to put eight in the box to stop the run game, you'll have three DB's trying to account for Zach Miller, Chaz Schilens and Heyward-Bey, not to mention a super fast Darren McFadden streaking out the backfield.
All these factors will help Chaz explode onto the NFL mainstream scene. How many corners will be able to deal with a speedy, sure-handed WR at 6' 4" with a 43" vertical down field? Not many, at all. Keep in mind, he takes snaps opposite the best CB in the game during practice, Nnamdi Asomugha, which will only speed up his learning process.
Raider Nation, a diamond in the rough was found last year and it will slowly be polished to shine the way it should. 7th Round WRs don't work out damn near all the time. TJ and Chaz are very rare to find.
With all those measureable listed, the one thing no combine, no stop-watch, no sand-box or bench press can measure is heart and determenation. Apparently, the NFL Scouts can't measure 'everything'.