When you’re looking for that perfect WR body, you want height above 6 feet, speed (40 yard dash to be under 4.7 seconds), and weight to be right around 200-220 pounds (depending on height). Hands are a must, but this is a skill that can be honed if a player is willing to dedicate themselves fully. So, it was no surprise when the Oakland Raiders signed Andre Holmes in the off-season of 2013.
Holmes stands 6’4″ tall and weighs in at 210 pounds. As far as body parameters go, he is nearly a mirror image to Randy Moss. He attended Hillsdale College in Michigan, which is a small school according to NFL standards. Holmes set several school records during his Junior and Senior years with 181 catches, 2,444 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he was not drafted in 2011 due to his small school status. Holmes was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and spent Training Camp with them before being released in late August. He was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad on September 5, 2011, before being activated to the active roster in December of 2011.
Holmes spent part of the 2012 season on the Dallas Cowboys active roster before being demoted to the practice squad in November of 2012. Holmes was waived by the Cowboys at the end of the 2012 season, and he was signed by the New England Patriots practice squad in January of 2013. On May 10th of 2013, the Patriots released Holmes on the coat tails of his Performance Enhancing Drug test that came back positive. Although Holmes was staring at a suspension in 2013, the Oakland Raiders took their chances with Holmes and signed him on May 13th of 2013.
Andre Holmes (#18)-
Now entering the 2014 season, Andre Holmes has a chance to re-invent himself into a starting lineup with the Oakland Raiders. His 25 catches for 431 yards and 1 touchdown came late as he had to serve out his NFL suspension. However, this was accomplished in 10 games and he averaged 16.4 yards a reception. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty good for a #4 and #5 receiver on the depth chart. Let’s face it, the Raiders sea-sawed between Brice Butler and Andre Holmes to be their 4th behind Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore, and Rod Streater in the 2013 regular season.
Now, with the release of Ford and the addition of James Jones, the Raiders will once again be searching for a new receiver lineup before entering the 2014 season. This is why I say that Andre Holmes has the chance to re-invent himself into the starting lineup. He’s been putting in the work, that’s for sure. This off-season he was among a handful of Oakland Raiders receivers that immediately began meeting with newly signed Matt Schaub to start gelling. The biggest problem he will face, there is some new blood in the way, and he must separate himself from Denarius Moore.
James Jones and Rod Streater are almost guaranteed a starting position. After that, it will be a battle in Training Camp between Andre Holmes, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, Greg Little, Greg Jenkins, Juron Criner, Mike Davis, Seth Roberts, and Rashaan Vaughn. The Raiders will more than likely keep six or seven WR’s on the starting roster, maybe eight if they are the better Special Teams returners. That’s a good chunk of the 53-man roster.
Is Holmes the diamond in the rough type of player who can become one of the best? He certainly has the body for it, and his game speed is faster than his 40 yard dash time (4.51). Still, Larry Fitzgerald posted a 4.63 40 yard dash time in his combine if that helps to tell you anything. Being able to get above the defensive backs in the NFL is a huge plus, and Holmes can jump. If he and Schaub can click and find a way to be cohesive enough to get their timing down, Holmes could prove to be that necessary piece that gets the tough first downs and back of the end-zone touchdowns.
Holmes could definitely prove to be a worthy #3 or even #2 receiver (James Jones in the slot, maybe), as long as he continues to grow as a professional. This means long days and evenings spent catching passes, running routes, studying route trees, etc… Does he want it bad enough? That is the question. Training Camp and Pre-Season football will be the proving ground for Andre Holmes this year, and I for one hope that he shows the ability to catapult himself up the depth chart. I also believe that Holmes has the backing from Raider Nation, and that is a huge plus for him too.
So, Raider Nation, enjoy some of his highlight film below, and let’s all wish Holmes the best as he attempts to make yet another NFL lineup: