Oakland Raiders: Is there enough talent at the wide receiver position?

The Oakland Raiders have current and future talent at the quarterback position with Matt Schaub stepping in as the current leader, and Derek Carr being drafted from Fresno State in the second round. The question Raiders fans should ask themselves next is, do the Raiders have what it takes at the wide receiver position?

I can’t help but think of the Oakland glory days when Rich Gannon was throwing bullets all over the field to Tim Brown, Jerry Porter and of course Jerry Rice. Unfortunately, the Raiders have taken significant steps backward since then. In fact, none of the Raiders current receivers have demonstrated playoff caliber results.

The Raiders leading receiver, Rod Streater, had 60 receptions for 888 yards and 4 touchdowns. When compared to the rest of the NFL, Streater was 33rd in receiving yards. I don’t think there is any case where a team’s leading receiver should be that far back in receiving yards.

oakland raiders

Streater showing some love to the Black Hole.

Oakland needs someone who can catch the long ball, make moves in open field, and is more aggressive when thrown to. Streater only had 60 receptions and was thrown to 100 times. Granted, Terrelle Pryor may have thrown some of those balls poorly, but I don’t think all 40 of them could have been that far off. The desire and the fire to catch balls, turn up field and find the end zone just doesn’t seem to be there with Oakland’s leading receiver.

Short passes aren’t really the problem for the Raiders considering Darren McFadden and Marcel Reese are 5th and 6th on the team receiving chart. They are coming out of the backfield making catches and finding open field, especially when McFadden is healthy. Reese has consistently been a receiving presence from the fullback position, which is something the Raiders have always coveted.

oakland raiders

Marcel Reese (Left) and Darren McFadden (Right)

Some other receivers that should have stepped up by now are Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, and Jacoby Ford. Of course, Ford got traded to the Jets recently, but was never effective anyway due to a season-ending foot injury in 2012. While picking up Ford’s slack, Moore has proved to be inconsistent after an average season in 2013. As for Butler, going into his third season he has yet to prove himself as leading NFL receiver.

[Oakland Raiders: Why Kevin Burnett should be nervous]

What Oakland needs to do for more passing success is get the tight ends involved as much as possible. Tight end David Ausberry is coming off a major shoulder injury and is excited to be teamed up with Matt Schaub because of his tight end friendly arm. Also, the Raiders have tight end Mychal Rivera who had a decent season last year with 407 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.

I think if Schaub and Carr throw to their tight ends more, we will see defenses creep their safeties in, creating more room for Brice Butler and Denarius Moore to catch deep balls in open space. This could also create a friendly competition between the receiving corps for number of catches, which could light the fire the Raiders receivers need to be more effective.

  • Raiders42

    John – completely agree with your point. Forget about all these “critics” and comments about research. Your facts and opinion is spot on, the Raiders do not have a solid receiving core and now that they have a pair of legit QB’s it’s going to be a problem. Keep up the good work!

  • mooney

    hey ryan. your mother sucks! all the Raiders off!

  • Ryan

    The raiders suck youre a soft team that makes terrible draft choices and are undisciplined. Scrubs

  • chuck

    John Durkee you need to do much more research before you actually write a story. I’ve read two of your Raiders articles and you sound more like a couch potato that watches sports center than a sports writer. Receiver is a big question mark for the Raiders, but the premises you use are way off base. And you talk about receivers not even on the team. Look to Holmes and Jones to help shore it up, it will be interesting to see what them and Streater do with a real QB. Would love to get a legit #1 though.

  • Jim Stack

    jacoby ford was a ufa not traded… this is retarded story. Especially since this wr crew is much better than brown, rice and porter. Brown and rice were on their last legs and porter was a legit stud who had issues running routes (maybe similar to holmes). However, overall depth is not even close.

  • MOONEY85

    you failed to even mention james jones! and the lack of an offensive line!!! come on man. before you write a story, make sure you put everthing into it! the passing game will put up more than double the numbers of 2013. streater being the leading receiver. a solid offensive line and a much better defense will give our offense plenty more opportunities to achieve big time goals in 2014! GO RAAAAAIDERRRRRSSS!!!

  • Jordan T

    You HAVE to consider our QB last year though. I mean there were games with like 80 yards passing.

  • BC76

    I think the Seahawks kind of proved that you don’t need a #1 wr to dominate. You need a great defense and a strong running game. I’d say we don’t have that elite #1 WR like Megatron, Brandon Marshall, or Julio Jones but we do have Wr’s that have great size and speed. Not to mention James Jones is a great #2.

  • Chris

    Well – quite interesting article even though not a fan of Raiders- however believe the impact of Schaub will be a positive one -however you are correct in that the receivers will play an integral part in success of team and Schaub.