Oakland Raiders Have the Man They've Wanted and Needed in Derek Hagan

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIISeptember 4, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 28:  Derek Hagan #80 of the Oakland Raiders stiff arms Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints and runs thirty five yards for a touchdown in the first quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the O.co Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

For a few years, the Raiders have needed a go-to wide receiver. 

Since the hot mess that was the Randy Moss experience that ended in the 2007 draft via a trade with the Patriots, the Raiders have not had a receiver who is feared.

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.

Hampered by injuries to Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens and Darrius Heyward-Bey at some point in camp, the Raiders brought in free agents Chad Jackson and Derek Hagan just to bring in fresh bodies for Coach Jackson's physical camp.

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.