- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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And yet, the second-year pro is closing in on a milestone that defines the upper echelon of pass-catchers, as Streater is 154 receiving yards away from reaching 1,000 for the season.
“There's something about that number you want to get to as a receiver to be considered one of the good ones for the year,” Streater said recently. “That's what I'm reaching for and also to get these last … wins.”
If he gets there, Streater, who has a team-high 54 catches, would be the first Raiders pass-catcher with a 1,000-yard season since Randy Moss in 2005.
Streater needs to average 77 yards receiving over the Raiders’ final two games to get there. He has hit that mark seven times in his nascent career, three times since Matt McGloin became Oakland’s starting quarterback five games ago. Streater had a career game at the New York Jets two weeks ago, catching seven passes for 130 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.
In fact, Streater’s current total of 846 yards is the third most by a Raiders receiver since Moss went for 1,005 yards eight years ago, behind only Jerry Porter’s 942 yards in 2005 and Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 975 yards in 2011.
So how does a guy who caught 19 passes as a senior at Temple get to the cusp of becoming, according to The Associated Press, just the 19th undrafted player since the 1970 merger to author a 1,000-yard receiving season?
“It's part of who he is,” said Raiders receivers coach Ted Gilmore. “The kid has a will, a drive to compete. He’s self-motivated, and I think that’s his edge. He wants to be great.”
Of course, there were doubts initially. There had to be after he went undrafted.
“You go back to looking at his tape, prior to the draft, and you’re like, 'OK, what’s wrong with this picture?’” Gilmore said with a laugh. ‘“There’s got to be something wrong. What’s wrong with him?’
“Nothing. Once you do all your homework, you realize there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just a product of [Temple’s run-based] system.”
After Streater’s first minicamp, Gilmore said it was obvious to the coaching staff that Streater would make the team.
Even if it was not so clear to Streater himself.
“Getting a jersey, that's all I wanted,” he said. “Now you have to continue to set the bar high. Now that I'm here, I want to keep going up.”
As long as he keeps grinding, that should not be an issue. His 15.7 yards per catch leads all AFC West receivers with at least 50 catches.
But Streater, who has also been seeing time in the slot of late, is not satisfied. Nor has he reached his ceiling.
“He can get better from a technique standpoint, running routes, getting out of breaks. There’s still a lot he can learn,” Gilmore said. “He’s a sponge.
“He’s taking advantage of his opportunities. He’s a guy that’s not talking about numbers, not talking about stats. He’s never had a chip on his shoulder about how many balls he’s gotten or did not get. And that’s rare for a receiver. That’s very rare. He just keeps doing his job.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders wideout Rod Streater is far from your typical No. 1 NFL receiver. For one thing, he was not drafted. For another, he’s anything but your stereotypical diva.