This might be the most underrated position on the Raiders. There is some very good, young talent on this team.
Chaz Schilens is coming off of an injury, but has shown flashes of being a great possession receiver. He is willing to go over the middle, make the catch, take the hit, and hang onto the ball.
Schilens has also displayed a knack for making the circus catch; this is always a good trait to have in a wide receiver. Schilens' work ethic, good speed, and excellent hands should put him No. 1 on the depth chart.
Louis Murphy will challenge Schilens for the No. 1 spot, but will ultimately find himself on the opposite side of the field. This is not a bad thing because the two of them compliment each other. Schilens working the middle, intermediate routes will open up the deep routes for Murphy to be the explosive player he is.
Darius Heyward-Bey is the prototypical slot receiver. Extremely fast, long and lanky frame, and a very hard worker. As long as he can learn to catch with his hands more consistently, Heyward-Bey will thrive in his role as the third wide out. I look for him to have a break-out year.
The fourth receiver position is up for grabs. Todd Watkins, Nick Miller, Johnny Lee Higgins, and rookie Jacoby Ford will all be vying for this spot. I can see Watkins' experience allowing him to edge out Ford and Miller with Higgins being relegated to the fifth receiver.
Ford and Miller are likely to be the returners for the Raiders in 2010, but I don't expect either of them to get any meaningful playing time next season.
Most teams carry six wide receivers, but the Raiders aren't most teams. Something tells me that the Raiders will keep seven wideouts on the active roster. Those being the four I've already placed with Higgins, Ford, and Nick Miller completing the depth chart.
That leaves Jonathan Holland, Paul Hubbard, Yamon Figurs, and Shaun Bodiford left to compete for spots on the practice squad. There will probably be only two available spots for wide receivers which means that a couple of these men will be looking for work in 2010.