For a few years, the Raiders have needed a go-to wide receiver.
Lately, the best pass-catcher the Raiders have had was tight end Zach Miller, who is now with Tom Cable and Robert Gallery in Seattle. Although Miller was the best the Raiders had, he was not in the same ranks as guys like Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens, a couple of veterans who the fans have long debated whether the Raiders should sign.
Since Moss left Oakland, the Raiders have lacked that explosive receiver that makes a pass attack respected. With draft picks like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Chaz Schilens, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and Denarius Moore, the Raiders have made it clear that they want to be better on the outside.
The Raiders avoided free agents Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and Randy Moss over the last year, wisely dodging the locker room cancer that each of those men have the potential to bring.
So that brings us to training camp 2011. The Raiders realized they found a steal in fifth-round rookie Denarius Moore, who has been the star of training camp. But not all the receiver news was as good as the sensational rookie from Tennessee.
Are the Raiders set at WR with Derek Hagan?
While Denarius Moore was the star of camp, Derek Hagan was the prized free agent signing after he stepped onto the field and was second in the NFL in receiving yards during the preseason.
Hagan made the roster cutdown to 53, which seems like a no-brainer, but you never know with the Raiders. Upon his signing with Oakland, Hagan is the veteran of the group as he leads the receivers in career catches and yards.
Hagan also comes without the destructive personalities of Randy Moss, T.O. and Chad Johnson. Hagan was praised for his work ethic and study habits by Hue Jackson one day after a camp practice because Hagan doesn't go play X-box to see who can score there, and instead he tries to score on the field.
Hagan is the answer to the Raider Nation's prayers of the team getting a veteran in the group to work with the younger draft picks of recent years. Randy Who? Chad What?
Hagan is the man the Raiders have needed since 2007.