May 19, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receivers coach Rob Moore and receiver Amari Cooper (89) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders receiving corps struggled to meet expectations in 2014 due in large part to injuries and the offensive system they were within, but Oakland has made some significant strides this offseason to improve their receiving depth.
Before Oakland had even finished the regular season NFL analysts and journalists had already penciled in wide receiver as the team’s largest position of need. According to NFL.com, the Raiders’ receiving corps averaged less than 9.5 yards per reception and combined for just 30 passing plays over 20 yards, both statistics being an NFL worst in 2014.
James Jones, Oakland’s leading receiver in receptions and touchdowns in 2014, was released from the team in May of this year and is currently a free agent.
“We have some young guys in the system and we’re hopeful that those guys continue to grow,” Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie told SiriusXM NFL radio
earlier this offseason. “Hopefully we’ll get a healthy Rod Streater back and that will help us out. We don’t feel like it’s doom and gloom at the receiver spot, but we do know that we need to upgrade. We’re taking a positive outlook and approach to this because there are some good receivers out there coming into this draft. At some point, I’m sure that we’ll get better at that position.”
Fortunately for the Raiders, McKenzie has proven his statement correct, as Oakland has upgraded their receiving corps and gotten much better at the position.
Here are Oakland’s top five wide receivers entering the 2015 season
Next: #5: Josh Harper