For any rookie starting your career under the lights on Monday Night is a huge deal. Not only are all your family and friends watching but pretty much the entire football universe is tuned-in. Now when you were the 129th pick in the draft or went undrafted all together then that Monday Night unveiling takes on a whole new perspective…especially if you’re starting.
Both Miles Burris and Rod Streater are going to find themselves in that exact situation in only a few days time as both rookies are slated to start in their NFL debuts. That’s not exactly something the Raiders had in mind when they grabbed Burris in the fourth round out of San Diego State. And it certainly was not even a consideration when they invited a wide receiver from Temple to rookie camp some months ago.
Yet here are Burris and Streater in position to start not only Monday but the foreseeable future.
For Burris, he’s got himself a wide open window to prove his worth. With Aaron Curry out for at least the first half of the season and little depth at linebacker Burris is in prime position to earn a starting job for his entire rookie year if he plays his cards right.
For Streater the situation is similar on the surface yet inherently different in the big picture. While Streater has more than played his way into an expanded role his prospects of future playing time are tied closely to the health of Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore.
Unlike the linebacking corps the Raiders are pretty stacked at receiver with plenty of competition to be found. In fact, another rookie is a threat to Streater’s snaps as 5th round pick Juron Criner is also going to see plenty of reps on Monday Night.
Still, Streater has a real chance to contribute all year long as a possession receiver on third down or playing in the slot while Moore and Ford heal. Which in turn also means Criner is in the mix for the entire season.
For Dennis Allen it might not be the ideal situation but this is exactly why it’s so important to have a solid draft led by a reliable scouting department. By the end of the season it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a good majority of Oakland’s rookies contributing in some way.