There is no doubt Reggie McKenzie hit a home run once again in the 2017 free agency with the signing of Cordarrelle Patterson and Jared Cook. While McKenzie took a lot of heat from fans for waiting so long to begin signing free agents, there is little doubt that his patience has once again paid off.
Both Cook and Patterson have stepped up when the rest of the Oakland Raiders’ receivers struggled to get going. But who has proven to be more valuable? Let us take a look at each of these acquisitions.
Stat Line: 43 receptions, 546 yards, one touchdown. *Team’s Leading Receiver
Cook has proven to be the most consistent receiver and a wonderful safety blanket for Derek Carr this season. During the game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night in Week 9, Cook put Oakland’s offense on his shoulders and led the team with eight receptions for 126 yards, torching the Dolphin’s secondary again and again. In comparison, Oakland’s top receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper combined for 7 catches and 98 yards in the same night.
Cook stepped up when Carr couldn’t rely on his top wideouts while sitting at 3-5 on the season. The Raiders desperately needed a win and were able to rely on Cook. He was also instrumental in the big Thursday night win over the Chiefs catching six passes for 107 yards. Look for him to be a factor again this week as Oakland looks to overtake the Chiefs in the AFC West title race in Kansas City.
Now Cook hasn’t been perfect. In Week 4 he dropped a beautifully thrown ball from E.J. Manuel that would have potentially pulled the Raiders to within two of the Broncos late in the game but instead, Oakland had to settle for three, eventually losing the game by six. However, in the grand scheme of things, the addition of Cook has been a big reason why Oakland still remains relevant in the playoff race.
Stat Line: 25 receptions, 283 yards, zero touchdowns. 12 rushes, 125 yards, two touchdowns.
Now Patterson’s stats don’t jump off the page, but recently he has been the reason Oakland has been able to close out the last two Raider’s victories. Patterson is the juggernaut that Oakland’s offense has needed. With his ability to burn defenders out of the backfield and also through the air, he is always a threat to opposing defenses and must be accounted for.
As seen Patterson has been instrumental in helping the Raider’s win their last two games. Last week when Oakland was without Cooper and Crabtree, Patterson led the air attack for the Silver and Black with four receptions for 97 yards.
Many hope to see Patterson utilized more since he is still the fastest player on the Raider’s offense. With his late game heroics in the last two games, Carr may start looking his way a bit more.
Even with all the questions at the offensive coordinator position, both players have proven to be free agent gold this season for the Raiders. And still with four weeks to go they could prove to be just what Oakland needs to sneak into January. So now it’s up to Raider Nation to let us know what you think! Who in your opinion has been the most valuable free agent weapon for Carr to turn to this season? Let us know in the comment section.