The Las Vegas Raiders revamped their wide receiver room this offseason, and the collection of talent has turned the position into a strength.
Heading into the 2020 offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders knew they needed to do something to revamp their roster at wide receiver. During the 2019 campaign, the position group was ravaged by injuries, and inconsistent play, forcing general manager Mike Mayock to key on it this offseason.
During the free agency period, the Raiders brought in Nelson Agholor, a former Super Bowl champion who had his issues with the dropsies during his time in Philadelphia. He joined a group headlined by Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow, two players who played big-time football at different times last season.
Williams got out to a hot start to the 2019 season, his first in the Silver and Black, by hauling in a touchdown in his first four games. After coming back from injury, Williams had a touchdown in his first game back as well, but that would be all for the season, as he battled plantar fasciitis the rest of the way.
Renfrow came back from injury to become a top option for Derek Carr late in the season, finishing out his rookie season by posting back-to-back 100-yard games. He proved to be automatic in the slot, and on third down, and will no doubt play a huge role on this offense once again in 2020.
Still, there were times when the receiver group was absolutely decimated, as Carr and company had to role with unproven guys like Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman, and Rico Gafford to name a few. Zay Jones was brought in during the season, but he was another unproven guy, and will have to battle to earn his spot this season.
Utilizing the draft in a big way
After bringing in Agholor in free agency, there was still a lot of work to be done, and Mayock got started right away during the 2020 NFL Draft. With the No. 12 overall pick, Mayock drafted Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III, who was the first wide receiver off the board, and was obviously the top wideout the Raiders wanted.
In the third round, the Raiders continued to add weapons for Carr, bringing in South Carolina’s all-time leading wide receiver in Bryan Edwards. This is a guy who can go up and get those 50-50 balls, and during his time with the Gamecocks, he showed that, when healthy, he can be one of the better wide receivers in college football.
Looking at this position group in late-May, this is suddenly a more complete group of wide receivers, each bringing their own special talents to the Raiders. Carr has the guys he now needs to succeed, and he has already been working out with them in the desert getting ready for what is likely a make-or-break season for him as the team’s starting quarterback.