Oakland Raiders: Five players under pressure in 2015

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Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Rod Streater (80) celebrates after scoring on a 12-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rod Streater

Why he is under pressure: Despite missing the bulk of the 2014 season, Streater is still considered to be a star in the making by much of the Raider Nation as his breakout 2013 made the former UDFA a fan favorite amongst fans as well as made him the #1 target in the making for the Raiders at the time. That was before his season was shut down after Week 3 against the New England Patriots, Streater not getting the opportunity to build on his season and solidify his future as a receiver that the team can build the offense around. Going from being talked about as a potential 1,000 yard wideout to an uncertain future entering 2015 Training Camp and the new season in trying to recover from a serious foot injury to reestablish himself as an emerging talent on the Raiders roster.

Last season it would have been easier for Streater to continue to breakout in the league with the Raiders as he was set to be the team’s top target, but that has changed over the offseason as the drafting of Amari Cooper and the signing of Michael Crabtree has put him in limbo. There is a chance that Streater could be behind both new additions on the depth chart once the season starts, making training camp and the preseason important for the now veteran wideout as he will have to show to a new coaching staff that he has the skills to be one of the team’s top targets with the presence of both Crabtree along with the new star rookie in Cooper now on the roster.

If Streater can’t prove himself early there is a chance that a new offensive coordinator and a new head coach may have a different vision for a player who had a large part in Greg Olson’s offense dating back to his success in 2013. At 27, this is also a make or break season for Streater’s career as the former undrafted talent who has etched a home in the NFL in Oakland needs to prove himself all over again after injury and a new coaching staff has placed himself under pressure for another time in his career.

Can he break the pressure: Streater certainly has the talent to make for an interesting position battle against the veteran Crabtree, who has more proven accomplishments in the NFL with the 49ers and is also the same age so the competition between the two wideouts will come down to has the most talent to demand the most targets come the regular season. The other factor in the competition is that both receivers have had little work with quarterback Derek Carr as Streater’s injury hindered the two getting much chemistry so the battle for the top veteran spot on the depth chart alongside Cooper is looking like a toss up going into camp.

Even if Streater is behind Crabtree on the depth chart, he can still become the player that he was shaping up to be before his injury, but when it comes to living up to the bar set for him after 2013 it is going to be an uphill battle with so many factors in the organization changing. Coming back from an injury there is a chance that potential everyone seen in Streater may not be fully there when he comes back, and the likes of Brice Butler, Andre Holmes or even UDFA Josh Harper could eat into his targets as well in 2015.

In a season that could define the second stage of Streater’s rise through the NFL he will need a big year, but with some of the odds stacked against him in terms of reaching the level of one of the Raiders top targets fans should adjust their expectations towards a player who was once seen as a potential breakout star.

Next: Under Pressure: Derek Carr