Las Vegas Raiders: Biggest questions heading into 2021 training camp
Who will step up at wide receiver after Nelson Agholor’s departure?
The Raiders have had a good track record in recent years of signing veteran receivers and helping them churn out career years. They have done so recently with the likes of Michael Crabtree and most notably Nelson Agholor whose career was on the downturn after a rough season in Philadelphia.
Agholor went from signing for the veteran minimum in 2020 to earn a $24 million contract with the New England Patriots thanks to his emergence as a number one target last year.
This year the Raiders have the chance to do it again with new addition John Brown who is also in town on a one-year contract. Brown has been successful in stops in Arizona, Baltimore, and Buffalo but injuries limited him to just nine games in 2020.
The veteran has had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in his seven-year career and is a prime candidate to be the number one receiver in Las Vegas.
Aside from Brown, two other players are ready for a breakout season in Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Both players had similar rookie seasons where injuries and COVID-19 limited their impact but the hope is that a full offseason will make for a more productive second year.
Ruggs has been in the news a bit more than Edwards with the talk of him looking bigger and stronger than he did last year and he has gone on the record about being disappointed in his meager rookie statistics.
The former Alabama speedster has some big shoes to fill if he is going to replace Agholor’s production and he will not want the Raiders to regret taking him over guys like CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson.
Bryan Edwards is built more like a typical number one receiver in the NFL and his combo of size makes him a great foil for the speedy Brown and Ruggs. Derek Carr will have plenty of options to spread the ball around but Edwards has a chance to make a name for himself as a big red zone target.
On paper, the Raiders receiving corps is deep and talented, especially with players like Hunter Renfrow, Willie Snead, and Zay Jones who we have not even touched on, but the team needs a true number one to emerge from the pack. As we have said, there are plenty of candidates for the role and we will have to wait and see which player steps up to the challenge.