The off-season is finally almost over, and the pieces are starting to fall into place. The rosters are coming together, and barring a blockbuster trade, we know who will be playing where. Expectations are high for the Oakland Raiders, and no position is under more pressure than the wide receivers. Quarterback Derek Carr will be relying heavily on these men to catch his passes and score points. In this article, the Oakland Raiders wide receiver depth chart is discussed.
Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Projection
After a phenomenal rookie season, the sophomore sensation should be the number one receiver in Oakland. Cooper caught 72 passes and became the first Raider receiver to break one thousand yards since Randy Moss did it a decade earlier. A nagging leg injury hurt Cooper late in the season, and it showed on the stat-sheet. Before Cooper’s injury, Derek Carr threw for 300 yards six times. Afterwards, he never came close. Healthy, and with a full year under his belt, Cooper should easily be the starting receiver.
The veteran experienced a bit of a career resurgence with the Raiders in 2015, tying his career highs in catches (85) and touchdowns (9). Jim Harbaugh once said that Michael Crabtree had the best hands of any receiver in the league, and in 2015, he certainly played like it. He led the Raiders in receptions and was Derek Carr’s safety blanket. Crabtree has adapted well into his role as a teacher for Cooper, and he should definitely be one of the starting receivers in 2016.
Seth Roberts was Mr. Clutch in Oakland last year, making three game-winning catches. Against the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, Roberts came up with huge touchdowns late, and a show-stealing catch against the San Diego Chargers set up a game-winning Sebastian Janikowski field goal in overtime. Roberts played well when Cooper was injured and has locked up the third wide receiver spot heading into the season.
Holmes only caught 14 passes last season, but it didn’t seem like it. The 6’4″ receiver is a fantastic athlete, and the purest example of a deep threat on Oakland’s roster. Two of his four touchdowns came on passes that were at least thirty yards long, and if he can fix his drop problem, he’ll continue to play a role in Oakland’s passing attack.
It’s strange to think that an undrafted player could have been a sought after free agent, but McCaffrey really was. Maybe it’s because he’s 6’2″ and runs a 4.36 forty-yard dash. Maybe it’s because his brother, Christian McCaffrey, is one of the best players in college football. And maybe it’s because his dad, Ed McCaffrey was pretty good with a certain team from Denver. In any event, McCaffrey is a talented young man who didn’t get a ton of hype because he didn’t play on a particularly talented offense at Duke University. McCaffrey chose the Raiders over the Broncos, and if he can make a splash on special teams, he should have a home on the Raiders final 53-man roster.