Nov 10, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Philadelphia won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders WR Breakdown: James Jones

It’s a new era in the NFL where every Sunday there seems to be a few 300 yard passers, and now and then one of them eclipses the 400 yard mark.  At the end of the season, one of the big name QB’s seems to always be in the 4,000 yard range for total pass yards, and, along with that, the TD numbers reach anywhere from 25-50 for the season.

This places value on smart, agile, and versatile WR’s.  Let’s face it, a WR can run a pass pattern all day long, but if he can’t find an open area, the QB usually won’t throw him the ball.  One of the advantages to having the guy who recruited or helped to recruit a lot of the talent up in Green Bay is being able to bring in these types of WR’s.  Hence the reason why General Manager Reggie McKenzie was so eager to scoop up WR James Jones once he became a free agent.

James Jones (#89)-

Humble.  In James Jones case this is an all-encompassing word.  Here’s a Professional Football Player who literally started with absolutely nothing as a child.  Homeless, and on the streets with his mom, Jones’ upbringing began on the streets of San Jose, CA.  Luckily, Jones and his mother were able to find the comfort of a home by the time he reached High School age.  In High School is where Jones’ talent was finally recognized, and he began his football life as a QB.  In college at San Jose State, Jones’ skills were utilized as a Wideout, and he earned the chance to attend the 2007 NFL Combine due to his breakout Senior year.

The 6’1″ 208 pound WR was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 3rd Round of the 2007 NFL Draft.  He immediately became a starter for the team and earned Rookie accolades during the year while catching passes from none other than Brett Favre.  In 2010, Jones was an integral part of the Packers Super Bowl winning season under QB Aaron Rodgers.  Though Jones has never eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark, he always found a way to get open and give his team the necessary yards they needed to keep moving the ball down the field.  He always found a way to get the rock inside the confines of the end zone too, especially in 2012 where he caught 14 touchdown passes (64 receptions for 784 yards in 2012).  2013 was his highest total receiving yards where he caught 59 passes for 817 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Jones entered the 2014 Off-Season as a Free Agent.  The Packers couldn’t meet his demands, and the Raiders were more than willing to welcome him back home to the Bay Area.  In Jones, the Raiders get a proven veteran WR who is still young enough to do some damage.  Yes, he’s 30 years of age, but a WR who takes care of his body can go all the way up to 35 and further sometimes depending upon their role with the team.  Plus, Jones will be able to help Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Brice Butler, Greg Little, and Denarius Moore in their development as big time receivers.  Should they make the team, the Rookies brought in will have an excellent route runner to learn from.

Photo courtesy of @bay_area_raider

Photo courtesy of @bay_area_raider

Ultimately, Jones will benefit the Oakland Raiders in becoming a winning organization again.  He is a necessary piece to the puzzle that will elevate the receiving corps of the Raiders.  He may be the number 2 guy, but I could see him serving the team best in the slot as a number 3 or even 4 receiver.  He’s quick, runs routes very well, and he has a knack for the open spaces.  This will serve QB Matt Schaub best, especially if he needs to get rid of the ball quickly to his outlets.  Granted, his contract would state otherwise.  However, if the slot is the best place for him, that’s where he needs to be.

Think about it for a minute, the names Jones, Streater, Holmes, Butler, Little, Moore, and maybe one of the Rookies (Mike Davis perhaps), to go along with Marcel Reece, Mychal Rivera, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, with the rock being dished out by Matt Schaub makes me think of an arsenal of weapons.  All available at Schaub’s fingertips.  Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson has to be giddy, like a school child, to have all of this available to him.

Let’s put it another way, barring any unforeseen injuries, there is no excuse for Schaub to not throw for over 3,500 yards in 2014.  Look at these weapons.  Sure, he may dish it out evenly to all, but those yards will rack up.  Think about the matchup issues that other teams will face.  Sure, the Raiders have a tough schedule ahead, but there are only so many #1 CB’s on a team.  Not all LB’s are good at covering quick slot receivers.  They won’t all be blanketed by a CB, and the opportunities will be there.

James Jones is that necessary tough and instinctive WR who is hard to bring down that has been missing since the days of Tim Brown.  No, he’s not Tim Brown, but he has many of the qualities that Brown had.  Though, not a down has been played in 2014, Jones automatically makes this a better receiving corps with his abilities.  Don’t believe me?  Want to question my opinion?  Great, check out his highlights and you’ll see what Raider Nation can expect to see in 2014:

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  • joe VICE

    Great article, I was definitely excited when I found out James Jones was getting picked up by the Raiders. He’s tough, strong receiver. That’s only gonna make our team better! Can’t wait for football season. Go Raiders!!!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Thank you, and yes, I can’t wait for football either!

  • Bob

    Good Article. Here are the top receivers from last year. I really expect that Moore may be gone, Jennings IS gone and Holmes will play 16 games if he does not get injured. Where does Jones fit in here with number of catches?

    Straeter 60
    Moore 46
    Riviera 38
    Jennings 36
    Reece 32
    Holmes 25

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Great question. Here’s the number one difference, Matt Schaub. Let’s face it, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin were struggling all year with their reads/decision making. Furthermore, the O-Line didn’t block well in passing situations. Part of the reason Streater didn’t get his 1,000 yards is due in part to the QB’s not seeing him, because they were running scared. Now, a revamped and upgraded O-Line should keep Schaub on his feet. Schaub knows how to get the ball out of his hand, and he can dish it around to the different WR’s/RB’s/TE’s. It may look a bit more like this in 2014:

    Streater- 75 (1000 yards +)
    Jones- 60-70 (800-900 yards)
    Holmes- 40-50 (600-800 yards)
    Reece- 30 +/- (300-500 yards)
    Rivera- 30-40 (500-600 yards)
    McFadden/Jones-Drew- Combined about 30 +/- (300-400 yards combined)

    Of course that’s without Denarius Moore, per what you think might happen. With Moore in the lineup, he’d be in between Jones and Reece with Holmes, within that ballpark. More production from this offense with Schaub in there is what I think you’ll see. It’s not the Raiders of old, and it’s not the Raiders of the last 2 years. It’s an entirely new style/offense with Schaub, the new WR’s, and a bolstered O-Line. Still, I’m not even factoring in the fact that Greg Little could be in the mix or Greg Jenkins or Brice Butler or someone else, but that is contingent on losing one of the WR’s I mentioned before (possibly in trade or release). The potential is there, execution will be the deciding factor though. That’s what it will come down to.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Streater could have more receptions based on coverage and health. Based on Schaub’s 2012 Season, the form we all hope he’ll return to, he threw for over 4,000 yards. This is entirely possible. He passed the ball around to a bunch of WR’s, mainly Andre Johnson. Johnson hauled in something like 119 receptions that year. If Streater can get that many, or Jones, they will definitely achieve that 1,000 yard season. Of course, it would be nice to have two 1,000 yard receivers, but that could be more of a pipe dream for me, LOL.

  • Mark Shafer

    Shane I did notice that in your article and your comments you have omitted D. Moore is that a prediction ?
    I think Jones is going to bring in more to are receivers than what we see him doing on the field.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Totally agree with you.

  • Raider Grant

    Jones will contribute positively, especially on 3rd downs & in the red zone.Just my opinion; Jones yards might be lower then some might expect, but his TD’s & 3rd down completion rate will be high. Go Raiders!!!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I agree to the point that he may be the slot receiver as opposed to the #2 receiver. Bob posed the question based on his parameters and I answered. I agree that he will be a threat in the red zone.

  • Tom Smith

    I saw Jones play in college at San Jose State. He was a bum. I think he scored 3 TDs his Soph and Jr year. He was average at best. He still is. It was Rogers who made him. Brett Farve never threw to him because he had no speed. Watch him sink into oblivion this year.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I totally disagree with you. James Jones is a tough, instinctive, and better than average route runner who will make this Raiders team better. He will help make the other WR’s better as well. I really think you’re wrong about him.