Monday, July 23, 2012
Breaking down Oakland's receivers
By Bill Williamson
The Oakland Raiders' rotation at wide receiver is starting to become clearer after the team traded four-year veteran Louis Murphy to Carolina for an undisclosed conditional draft pick on Monday. Let’s take a look at how the position breaks down for Oakland.
Likely starters: Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey
What to look for: This has a chance to be a solid duo. Moore had 38 catches as a rookie last season and by all accounts, he has a chance to be a star. He will get the chance to shine in 2012. Heyward-Bey broke out in 2011 with 64 catches after a terrible first two seasons. While Moore is a terrific deep threat, watch for Heyward-Bey to continue to shine on shorter routes.
Likely third receiver: Jacoby Ford
What to look for: Ford is explosive and he can be used in several different ways. If he can stay healthy, Ford can make a lot of big plays.
The rookies: Juron Criner and Rod Streater
What to look for: These two players will be closely watched this summer and their development will determine whether dealing Murphy was the right move. Both Criner, a fifth-round pick, and Streater, an undrafted rookie, were outstanding during organized team activities. They will still have to prove themselves in camp and in the preseason before the team can be comfortable with either being a factor in the regular season. I bet Criner will be given the chance to be the No. 4 receiver. Unless he totally flops in the summer, Streater has a strong chance to make the team and be at the bottom of the rotation.