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Oakland Raiders Crowded Wide Receiver Position Should Breed Solid Competition

May 22nd, 2014 at 5:06 PM
By Nicholas Gill

The Oakland Raiders passing game in 2013 was below average across the board. The wide receivers did not play up to their potential but the execution as a whole hurt their opportunities. With a massively improved offensive line and more stability at quarterback, Oakland will be in far better position for the 2014 season.

The quarterback tandem of Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin cost the Raiders wide receivers dearly in 2013. Neither had the experience or the command of the offense to use the weapons on the outside to bring out their best. The offensive line sustained crucial injuries which set back the passing attack.  Oakland finished 25th in the NFL last season with just 208.8 passing yards per game. Now, for the 2014 season, the Raiders have revamped the offensive line and brought in veteran quarterback Matt Schaub to control the offense.

With those additions, the Oakland receiving corps will have more opportunities to thrive. The unit has some potential with young players like Rod Streater and Andre Holmes showing well in 2013 despite the spotty quarterback play. The team also returns Denarius Moore who has big play ability, but suffers from some inconsistency in his play. The Raiders brought in James Jones to further solidify the group and bring in a proven target in the passing attack. 

Along with those options, the Raiders have added a slew of competition. Oakland claimed Greg Little off waivers in a low risk/high reward move. Little has nice size and potential as a former second round pick, but suffered from drops in Cleveland. The Raiders added undrafted free agents, Mike Davis, Noel Grisgby, and Seth Roberts to create even more competition and push the group as a whole. They also have two young draft picks in Juron Criner and Brice Butler who are in situations where they have to show their skills or be in danger of being passed by the other wide receivers.

General manager Reggie McKenzie has preached competition all offseason. His plan was to bring in players who will compete and push for roster spots. As a result, those who can play will rise to the top and those who aren't where they need to be are expendable. That is the exact scenario he has created at the wide receiver position. Whoever makes this team will earn that spot. The players who are on the field will be better because they were pushed to earn that nod. There will be no more free passes to a roster spot and playing time on the Raiders receiving corps.

Tags: Andre Holmes, Brice Butler, Football, Greg Little, James Jones, Juron Criner, Matt Schaub, Mike Davis, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Rod Streater

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