Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper (89) at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
- Starter: Amari Cooper
- Starter: Michael Crabtree
- Starter/Backup: Rod Streater
- Backup/Starter: Kenbrell Thompkins
- Backup: Andre Holmes
I don’t think any offensive position group got upgraded as much as the wide receiving corp did. Not just with additions of Crabtree in free agency, and Cooper in the draft, but also with Rod Streater becoming healthy, and Thompkins having a full offseason to work with Carr. This is a versatile position group in terms of size and in their individual skill sets.
Amari Cooper is proving to be every bit the star we were hoping he would be. Crabtree, no matter how much of a down season he had last year, is always going to be a viable receiving option because he does have great hands, and a veteran knack or getting open. He might not be able to be the consistent deep threat he was the for the 49ers before his Achilles injury, but in this group he doesn’t have to be. With speedsters like Streater and Cooper, Crabtree will be able to flourish in the slot, or on shallow routs on the outside.
Thompkins is a receiver I’ve liked for a number of years, in 2013 I noticed him on the Patriots when he was one of Tom Brady’s top receiving options. He can be a definite X-Factor on this offense, he’s got the speed, and the ability to make the acrobatic catch if need be, I think there will be true competition between him and Streater, and they will both improve because of it.
OVERALL WR GRADE: A+
Last year, the Raiders receivers weren’t as bad as people thought they were. They just didn’t have an Alpha to step in and be the leader, to be the player who draws the double teams, and terrifies secondaries. This year, they have that. I’ve said it before, you pair Rod Streater against a majority of the number one corners on an NFL defense, and he would be able to beat them, put him up against a #2 or a nickel corner, it’s not even a contest. Whoever ends up getting he most snaps between Streater, Crabtree, and Thompkins will have great seasons just because of Cooper’s presence.
Next: Raiders Position Grades: Tight End