Raiders add interesting WR in Criner

April, 28, 2012
4/28/12
4:00
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The Oakland Raiders have one of the most interesting receiver situations in the NFL.

They have several talented players but none who have completely proven themselves. Yet, the unit looked solid enough where they can let some players separate themselves. Still, the Raiders added an intriguing player to the mix when they drafted Arizona’s Juron Criner with the No. 168 pick in the fifth round.

I like this pick a lot.

Criner likely would have never been drafted by the Raiders in the past. He is not a speed demon. Al Davis would have seen that 4.7 speed and thrown Criner’s game tape in the garbage.

But he is a solid football player. He is 6-3, 220 pounds and he’s pretty polished. He has a chance to develop into a good NFL player. He is not a sure thing, but he has good ball skills and he always gives a full effort.

I think the new Oakland régime will throw him in the mix with the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy and let these young players develop.

Yes, it’s a bit of a luxury pick. At the very least, Criner could be a helpful bottom-of-the rotation possession guy, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he offers more value than that.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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