Reggie McKenzie is Building the Oakland Raiders

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Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater (80) scores a touchdown against the New York Jets during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


Even when he didn’t have a good year drafting in 2012, it wasn’t a complete waste because McKenzie found a gem. That gem is undrafted free agent Rod Streater, who two years later has become the Raiders No. 1 receiver. He had something like 850 yards with two games left in the season last year and he finished with 888.

I didn’t catch Bruce Gradkowski-itis like many of you did from Matt McGloin but I will say Streater would have had his 1,000 if McGloin started the last two games last year. And with Matt Schaub, Carr and McGloin as his quarterbacks, Streater is going to hit that 1,000-yard mark no matter which one of them starts.

Then this year, McKenzie unearthed another gem in corner Neiko Thorpe, who I and the coaches really like. He started out and undrafted free agent out of Auburn with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. After being cut and signed to the practice squad a few times, Thorpe decided to work on his game in Canada.

And now, he could very well take a starting position for the Silver and Black this year. He impressed Allen early in camp then pulled his hamstring but came back ballin’ right away when he got healthy. Of his chances to start, Allen said, “I was pleased with what I saw before I got injured. I liked what I saw in the Green Bay game but a lot of the determination will be based on what we see on Thursday night.”