Raiders Blog

NFL Draft: WR K.J. Hamler Could Be Steal On Day 2

The Las Vegas Raiders lacking a premier wide receiver is probably the understatement of this offseason. It would be optimal for them to walk away from this year’s draft with at least two of them. K.J. Hamler could be a steal on day two if he’s available then.

Raiders Blog: WR K.J. Hamler Could Be Steal On Day 2

If the Raiders season were to start today, the wide receiver corps would be severely inadequate and that’s not a knock on who they currently have. Hunter Renfrow proved to be a revelation last year and Tyrell Williams has shown he can do damage when healthy though he’s better suited to be a number two option. Zay Jones is no scrub either. He and quarterback Derek Carr have been working out this offseason, developing chemistry so he’ll be back next year.

Related: What are the betting odds that Marcus Mariota is the starter Week One?

The problem is they’re hurting for a true number one wide receiver, and it seems the Raiders will have a chance to draft one in the first round. However, Hamler from Penn State could prove to be a gem if he’s available on the draft’s second day. His athleticism and speed may tempt some teams to draft him earlier than expected, but Las Vegas should stay put regardless. The biggest reason for that is Hamler’s hands.

Hamler’s Weakness

Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area briefly touched on this recently. He said “That speed, agility, and burst is going to be so, so tempting. It’s hard for guys with this athletic profile to not be successful in the NFL, but Hamler’s hands aren’t great…” This should make general manager Mike Mayock wary of reaching for him and instead should move into the second round. Another option is to hope he’s available in the third, doubtful as that can be.

The NFL Combine didn’t really showcase much of Hamler, other than his 15 reps on the bench press. In spite of that, Lance Zierlein highlighted that despite an “alarming number of drops in 2019,” he’s an “explosive slot target who hits the scales as a lightweight but could have [a] heavyweight impact on games.” As you can see, the temptation could be strong, reminding me and all of Raider Nation of a prototypical “Al Davis pick.” Hamler has “High-Risk, High-Reward” written all over him.

This is shaping up to be a crucial “make or break” year for Derek Carr, so the Raiders would be smart to think twice before reaching for anyone.

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