Oakland Raiders: A Look At the Receivers Fighting To Make the Roster
Last year WR was one of the Raiders many weaknesses. And it would seem as though the team has done little to address the problem.
As it stands right now the Raiders have an entire fleet of what would seem to be all second rate players vying to make the Raiders roster as a receiver.
If the Raiders don't find a gem out of this bunch, Jason Campbell and the Raiders could be in for a long year.
Here's a look at the many players competing to make a roster spot at receiver.
By the way, the picture above is Darrius Heyward-Bey, who has been great in practice, making a catch over Nnamdi Asomugha.
Louis Murphy had a breakout rookie year, well kind of at least.
Last year he led all Raider receivers in catches with 34.
Unfortunately, he also led the team in drops with nine, that was enough to tie him for the fourth most drops in the NFL last year.
Louis Murphy undoubtedly will improve and has great deep threat ability as he ran a 4.32 at the combine. But will he improve enough to be a true no. one receiver?
Louis Murphy is pretty much a lock to make the team.
Chaz Schilens, if healthy, is arguably the Raiders best receiver. Last year in 8 games he had 29 catches.
Unlike many of the other receivers on the Raiders roster this guy has no problem catching the ball.
His problem is staying healthy, all throughout college he had injury problems and they have only continued in the NFL.
If this guy is healthy he is a lock to start and is just about the only possession receiver the Raiders have.
He recently participated in his first practice with the Raiders this year as he has been sidelined with injury for mini-camps and much of OTAs.
Last year the Raiders selected Darrius Heyward-Bey in the 1st round 7th overall. Among NFL fans, after only one year, consensus pretty much says this guy is a bust.
He has game breaking speed running a 4.28 40-yard dash and a 38.5 vertical, both of which were a position best for receivers in 2009.
His rookie year was very disappointing as he had only 9 receptions for 124 yards, one TD and five drops.
So far word out of the Raiders OTAs is very positive regarding him and he seems to be catching everything. But this is just practice we are talking about.
Jacoby Ford was the fastest man at this years combine running a blazing fast 4.28. He is a little on the small side at 5'10'', 185 lbs, but none the less very dangerous with the ball in his hands whether it be as a receiver or as a returner.
He will most likely make the Raiders roster as a gimmicky role player making plays on special teams and out of the slot.
Johnnie Lee Higgins
In 2008, Johnnie Lee Higgins was the most exciting thing the Raiders had amassing over 1,700 all purpose yards as a punt returner, kick returner, receiver and rusher totaling seven TDs.
In 2009, not so much.
He is undoubtedly talented but may lack focus.
Throughout his three years in the NFL he has been accused of half-assing practice and running sloppy routes which may have resulted in his limited playing time because he fell out of favor with the coaching staff.
Any time he touches the ball he is a threat to take it to the house.
It's hard to say whether he makes the roster or not, especially if he can't make the team as a returner.
Yamon Figures ran the fastest 40 in the 2007 combine at 4.30.
He is listed as a receiver but is more of a special teams specialist. He has never totaled more than one reception in a season.
Over his four year career he has amassed 1851 yards on kick return and 331 yards on punt return.
If he makes the team it will be because of his ability on special teams.
This guy is a late addition to the Raiders OTAs as an undrafted rookie.
In 2009, he had 57 receptions for 807 yards and five TDs for the Oregon Beavers. He also blocked two punts including one he returned for a TD.
His chances of making the team are pretty slim.
Shaun Bodiford... There isn't much to talk about here, the guy has been in the league since 2006 and has one reception for 13 yards
In High School Watkins played along side both Alex Smith and Reggie Bush and was able to letter in four sports.
He also played both receiver and kicker in college.
At his pro-day he posted a 4.28 40-yard dash and a 36 inch vertical.
This guy is undoubtedly athletically gifted, the only problems is he is yet to put it together and has struggled to catch the ball.
His three years in the league he has totaled a disappointing eight receptions, all of which came in 2009.
He has a slight edge to make the team over some of the other receivers because he was on the team last year, also he may be able to fill in if Janikowski gets injured.
Jonathan Holland has been in the league for two years, in 2008 he played receiver and in 2009 he played corner, now he is converting back to receiver.
Jonathan Holland as zero career receptions 28 kick returns for 550 yards and 11 career tackles, he if doesn't make the team as a returner he may be gone.
Paul Hubbard was drafted in the sixth round out of Wisconsin by the Cleveland Browns in 2008.
Like a few of the other receivers on the Raiders roster he has zero career receptions.
Throughout college Nick Miller was an outstanding player on special teams.
Last year the Raiders picked him up as an undrafted rookie and he had a very impressive preseason.
Last year he was injured prior to the season opener that would last throughout the entire season after suffering an ankle fracture.
Throughout much of OTAs and mini camp this year he has been sidelined with shin splints.
His chances of making the team are pretty slim unless he amazes as a returner.
I know, the Raiders options are looking pretty grim, but they may have a few more options.
Darren McFadden has been seeing a lot of reps at receiver during practice and could be very dangerous outside with his 4.33 speed.
The Raiders also still have time to sign a veteran receiver like Terrell Owens or Muhsi Muhammad.Or maybe even trade for one.