JBB Draft Profile: Josh Harper, WR, Fresno State – A Familiar Face for Carr

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Nov 2, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass to wide receiver Josh Harper (3) during the second quarter of the game against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Many analysts, observers and fans have identified the wide receiver position as being one that needs an upgrade for the struggling Raiders. Despite having used a large number of wideouts since the start of camp – twelve, by my count – many seem to think that there is no clear cut number one receiver on this offense. Conventional wisdom would suggest that once you’ve found a young franchise QB – which the Raiders seem to have in Derek Carr – you give him some weapons to work with. Some examples from around the league would of course suggest otherwise, but that could be the topic of another article.

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Wide Receiver, however, is a want and not a need. The Raiders currently have a receiver on pace for 82 receptions this year in James Jones, and Rod Streater, who in 2013 managed to reach the 60 reception benchmark in a run-first offense that was quarterbacked by Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. The Raiders also have two big, explosive young wideouts in Andre Holmes and Brice Butler who have both showed flashes of big-play ability through seven games. While there is certainly room for improvement with this group that also includes smaller, faster receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Denarius Moore, there is enough talent in this group that using a high draft pick to take a wide receiver in this draft – when there are so many very real holes on the defensive side of the ball – is flat-out foolish.

But mid-way through the draft, the Raiders may have addressed their most glaring immediate needs and be looking to maybe improve a group by taking a player who won’t need a lot of time to get used to catching balls from Derek Carr: Fresno State wide receiver Josh Harper.