Aug 2, 2015; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper (89) at training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This is one of those position groups that I believe will do all the talking on the field. Before the draft I was one of the people pulling hard for Leonard Williams in the first regardless of the pre-draft additions. It is hard to be upset that the Raiders chose Amari Cooper, and after hearing the stories about this guy in camp, we all see why Reggie and company chose him.
The top three wide receivers for this team will be Cooper, Crabtree, and Streater. People speak about Andre Holmes in that three spot, but he has shown pretty consistently that he is not someone the Raiders can rely on. Yes, Streater has faced some adversity with injuries, but let us not forget he nearly eclipsed 1000 yards receiving with Matt Mcgloin as his quarterback.
What I love most about this receiving corps is the versatility. This brings me to question number two. I got asked by @JSearway: “is Amari lining up in the slot at all? what personnel has been taking the field in 3+ wr sets this camp?”
To answer the first part of the question, I do not think of the trio of Amari, Crabtree, and Streater as “X, Y, Z”. These three will be completely interchangeable across any formation. The strong suit of each of these receivers is the route running and to enhance that, they are all very good with the ball in their hands. To answer you directly, yes Amari will see a ton of snaps in the slot, but so will Crabtree and Streater. The key to determining who lines up where depends on the defense.
This is an important advantage the Raiders will have in three receiver sets. Their receiver alignment will always benefit the offense. If for instance they play a defense such as the Seahawks where corners stick to their sides, then the Raiders will line up the player they think fits best on both sides. If they play a team like the Jets who will use Revis to follow a receiver, then they can move that receiver and by extension the cornerback to a place on the field where he does not threaten the rest of the play.
To answer the second part of the question, there is too much secrecy in the NFL to allow us to see exact personnel when it comes to how they install plays. At this point it is a guess, however my money is on the trio I previously listed to be the top three guys for the season, assuming each is healthy. I believe these three wide outs will account for 3000 yards, 250 receptions, and 15 touchdowns.
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