Dropping down into the depth at the WR position for the Oakland Raiders makes it extremely difficult to assess where the others will end up, especially with names like Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, Juron Criner, Mike Davis, Greg Little, Greg Jenkins, Seth Roberts, and Rashaan Vaughn. Well, it’s the NFL, and every job is never totally secure. Therefore, Denarius Moore finds himself staring down a Training Camp in which he will need to prove a strong work ethic and consistency to his coaches. If not, he could find himself with a plane ticket out of Oakland. Still, Moore is a very good player who can bring it at times. I would hate to see him leave Oakland, but it’s time to get the most out of a player, instead of just a taste here and there.
Denarius Moore (#17)-
Of all the WR’s on the roster, I believe that Denarius Moore is the most intriguing and in some cases disappointing. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Moore busted onto the Oakland Raiders scene in September of 2011 in a game played in Buffalo, NY. With QB Jason Campbell handling the rock, Moore hauled in 6 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, but the touchdown he caught would make him a hero in the eyes of Oakland Raiders fans everywhere:
His 51 yard reception for a touchdown was outstanding! It was the kind of stuff from Raiders legends. That chuck it down the field for 50-70 yards while the receiver runs underneath it for a touchdown reminded Raider Nation of the Ken Stabler to Fred Biletnikoff and Cliff Branch era, or the Jim Plunkett to Cliff Branch era, or the James Jett days, and on and on and on. I was jumping up and down screaming at the top of my lungs in my living room. I thought the Raiders had finally found “it.”
Of course, Denarius Moore was in the game due to the fact that Daruis Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, and Louis Murphy had all been injured, but he made his statement. Fast forward three years, and there are rumblings within the Raiders media outlets that Moore could be traded or released before the start of the 2014 season.
Moore’s work ethic has been called into question, his background, and even the fact that he has a lot of drops. He lacks consistency, and both Head Coach Dennis Allen and Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson have cited this fact. Moore will have to prove himself once again. The question is, how bad does he want it?
Another thing, he hasn’t played an entire 16 game season yet. He played 13 games in 2011, 15 in 2012, and 13 in 2013. Moore has suffered a high ankle sprain, pulled knee tendons, and a Lisfranc injury to his foot. Still, and luckily, he’s young, and he will enter the 2014 season injury free. Maybe this will be his year? If that’s the case, he will have to clamor through the pile of WR’s standing in his way. This year he is not safe from elimination.
One thing Moore can do to lengthen the distance between him and the pack is be a Kickoff and Punt Returner. Special Teams can be Moore’s savior if he wishes to remain an Oakland Raider. Now, one place I really think Moore can be the best at is in the slot. However, I’m not Greg Olson, and I’m not designing the offense. Some of these WR’s, like our FB (Marcel Reece), are not being used to their full potential. Will this change with Matt Schaub at the helm? That remains to be seen, but I like the Raiders chances.
One thing I do know about Matt Schaub, he is not done yet. As a matter of fact, I was reminded by Gil Brandt (NFL Analyst/Radio Analyst) that Schaub had thrown for nearly and over 4,000 yards in the 4 years leading up to the 2013 NFL season. How was I reminded? I called him on the show, Late Hits, on NFL XM Radio. At 4:40 PM PST, on June 30th, I called in to give my opinion on who I think the 2014 Comeback Player will be. I was pleased to learn that he agreed with me that Schaub is not done yet.
This is promising for the Oakland Raiders and for the WR’s on the team. It’s like an incentive to make the team this year, as the football will be passed around a lot. With the amount of weapons on the team, there could be some big stats each game. If Denarius Moore can separate himself from the pack, he could be one of the surprise WR’s of 2014. I would love to see him do it. For now, Raider Nation can only dream that Moore can elevate himself and become the WR we want him to be in his highlight films. Check these out: