With the first half of training camp over, let’s take a look at the leaderboard of the Raiders deepest position.
It’s been a quiet off-season thus far for Amari Cooper, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Coop has come in even heavier than before, and the added strength could be for injury prevention. The four-year-wideout has not finished any pro season healthy, even if he wouldn’t be the one to admit it. If the added weight helps, he may finally be ready to make the leap.
The Raiders continue to talk up Jordy Nelson’s physical abilities, but that is not the only reason why he is there. Nelson has continued to display the professionalism and leadership qualities that led Gruden to choose him over Michael Crabtree. If the former Packer can at least match Crabtree’s production of the last few seasons he will prove to be a boon to the offense.
Martavis Bryant is probably the most physically gifted receiver on the Raiders at the moment. He stands at 6-foot-4 and possesses blazing speed that makes him a threat to score at any given moment. If Bryant can put together a complete season he could even match Cooper’s level of importance to the team.
Marcel Ateman has continued to turn heads in training camp on a routine basis. Gruden spoke highly of the rookie, saying, “Ateman makes plays every day.” He has a bit of an Andre Holmes feel minus the downfield speed. At 6-foot-4 Ateman could be a red-zone target and maybe even a Martavis Bryant stand in. He will likely have to contribute in other ways such as special teams if he wants to see more than a handful of snaps a game on offense.
Ryan Switzer’s value has always been linked to his versatility and usefulness on special teams. His best chance at a roster spot is to land on punt and kick coverage but he could carve out a niche as an inside receiver. Just look at this move he showed in practice.
Ryan Switzer making moves in Black and Silver pic.twitter.com/bKfqPJUnrX
— Jarrod (@jhardy575) August 6, 2018
This may be the year the Seth Roberts scholarship program ends. Roberts’ issues catching the football have been well documented and are springing up again in camp. In previous years the receiving corps was not as deep and Roberts clung to the team with his downfield blocking and late game heroics. That may not be enough anymore.