Needless to say, the Raiders have lacked a true go-to WR for years now. TE Zach Miller led the team in receptions the last three seasons but left via free agency, signing with Seattle. This opens the door for a new guy to emerge as the Raiders go-to guy in the passing game.
Will it be newcomer Kevin Boss? Jason Campbell is known for getting the ball to his tight ends. He had a good thing going last season with Miller and Chris Cooley was his man in Washington. Now Campbell has a 6'7" target in Kevin Boss. If he can stay healthy, he can easily lead the Raiders in receptions and receiving TDs this year.
Chaz Schilens is the Raiders' best WR, but can't stay on the field long enough to make an impact. He is 6'4", 225 pounds, runs good routes, has good hands and a sub-4.4 speed. Then, of course, he has the injury concerns. Every time he gets healthy enough to play he does something big for the Raiders. He just needs to stay off the injury report and on the field so he can contribute the way we all know he can.
Darrius Heyward-Bey had a decent preseason. He made some very tough catches in traffic and is always tough to bring down once he has the ball. He beat a Seattle defender so bad last week that he had to tackle DHB to prevent a long TD. The sky is the limit for Heyward-Bey. He just needs to put it all together and become the big-play WR Al Davis envisioned when he picked him eighth overall.
Jacoby Ford had a dynamite rookie season, and is sure to see a lot more action at WR in his second year. He has the potential to be the Raiders' deep threat, and although he may not lead the team in catches this year, I can see him leading in receiving yards. His big-play ability will lead to him averaging close to 20 yards per catch and racking up close to 1,000 yards this year.
Derrick Hagan has been one of the biggest surprises in the preseason. His sure hands and excellent route-running make him a great target for Jason Campbell. Not only does he create separation with his routes, he also has proven he can break a tackle and take it the distance for a score. He's not the fastest WR on the team, but his routes are crisp and has been the Raiders' most reliable WR during the preseason. I wouldn't be shocked at all if Hagan leads the team in receiving.
Louis Murphy was penciled in as a starting WR at the beginning of training camp. He had a great start to the 2010 season, and was on pace to have over 1,000 yards receiving before injuries slowed him down. The injury bug has bitten him again this preseason and we haven't seen much from him; he is likely out for the opener. Hopefully he'll be back soon because Murphy is a baller and can easily be the leading WR if he can stay healthy.
Rookie Denarius Moore was the training camp star this year. He made play after play during practice and had some very nice catches in the preseason games. It is probably a long shot to expect Moore to lead the Raiders in receiving, but with injuries to Schilens and Murphy he likely will get some opportunities. He'll be more of a deep threat this year in my opinion. He won't have many catches but will rack up yards with his big-play ability.
Well that's all I got for now. Who will lead the team in receiving this year? Who knows, maybe Darren McFadden will lead the Raiders in both rushing and receiving.
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