Denarius Moore became a national star with his "breakout" performance against the San Diego Chargers last Thursday night. I use quotes because anyone who has seen the Raiders at all in 2011 saw what Moore could do when he played a big role in the Raiders' win over the New York Jets in Week 3.
But this article isn't to discuss when Moore had his breakout; it is to look at whether or not he will maintain the momentum and become the Raiders' next great wide receiver they have lacked since Tim Brown and/or Jerry Rice in 2003-2004 (to hell with Randy Moss in 2005-2007).
Let's take a moment to remember some of the others it seems like we (Raider Nation) have gotten excited about lately: Jerry Porter, Johnie Lee Higgins, Chaz Schilens, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy. This list could include more, but I think you get the point. The Raiders have had guys who look like the next big thing only to watch them be no better than above average.
Porter was good, but he was no game-changer. A good QB would have helped him, but even upon leaving Oakland after the 2006 season, he did little more in Jacksonville.
Higgins was fast and exciting with playmaking abilities on special teams, but after a hard hit on opening weekend Monday Night Football against the Chargers, he was never the same and has been released.
Schilens came on late as a seventh-round rookie from San Diego State in 2008, but he has been hit by injuries. Although he is now healthy, Schilens is a rotational guy rather than a go-to guy; the same can be said for Murphy, who missed several games this year.
Heyward-Bey was a first-round pick who had been tied up to the "bust" label, but then emerged in his third year (Darren McFadden anyone?) as the team's leading receiver this season. However, Heyward-Bey has been thrown to once in the last two games.
Now we come to the fifth-round rookie from Tennessee: Denarius Moore.
Moore is getting national attention following the 100-plus-yard, two-touchdown game he had on prime-time football, and he was praised by the NFL Network postgame commentators, as well as new QB Carson Palmer.
As I said at the beginning of the article, Moore has shown up big before for the Raiders. It's not like he just suddenly showed off his playmaking ability last week—and that is more cause for concern.
Moore came on strong early in the season, then he fell off for weeks before bouncing back at San Diego.
Will the Denarius Moore Show continue to wreak havoc on the NFL, or will Moore have his name added to the list of the receivers who never stuck in Oakland? Only one way to find out.