It is fair to say that the Las Vegas Raiders offense got a top-to-bottom overhaul. From the backup quarterbacks, all the way to the man calling plays, it is all different. Well, besides the offensive line, to Raider Nation’s dismay. Nonetheless, there is plenty to look forward to, with Raiders camp right around the corner.
The top-end talent of the wide receiving group is upper-tier. One of the best in the NFL, and definitely the best in the AFC West (argue with your mirror if you don’t agree). The numbers three through five and six, however, are an intriguing battle. With plenty of additions through free agency, the Raiders are looking at a depth not seen in the Silver and Black for years. The addition of Davante Adams and the extension of Hunter Renfrow has ensured that the one and two are locked down. But what about after that?
Raiders Camp: the third and fourth options
Traditionally, offenses consider the two wideouts as their one and two. The Raiders have a different build to their team as their number two is the slot. So who will be the number three on the other side of Adams? Demarcus Robinson and Keelan Cole are the two names that pop out the most. Both have similar resumes and a similar skill set. Both six-foot-one, a 40 time just under 4.6, and amazingly similar stats through their years in the NFL, they’re almost a mirror image of each other. However, Robinson has had the luxury of catching most of his passes from Patrick Mahomes. All the while, Cole has been splitting time between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets. With a quarterback like Derek Carr finally giving him NFL-quality passes, I think Cole takes the third spot, and Robinson takes spot number four.
Past the first four?
The remaining wide receivers are harder to judge. With only so many balls to go around, it’s tough to say how many the Raiders will keep. Mack Hollins has an inside edge on being kept around, as he has the most experience of those left on the current roster. Although he does not have an impressive resume, he, like Cole, has had the displeasure of playing with some awful quarterbacks. His talent is there, however. So, I believe that one spot is his to lose.
Tryon Johnson is another intriguing character. With only two years of experience, he was on the Raiders’ roster last year but didn’t get any playing time. His familiarity with Carr, on the other hand, may lead to an opportunity. The wild cards of Dillon Stoner, DJ Turner, and Justin Hall are those remaining on the current roster. And with no real burn on the grass between any of them, it’s tough to judge who makes it and in what capacity. Dillon Stoner and DJ Turner, who are both homegrown talents, are likely to get the first opportunity before Hall.
Talent top to bottom
The Raiders finally have top-end talent at the wide receiver position. Carr has got to be counting his blessings at that. And led by “genius” play caller and designer Josh McDaniels, the Raiders’ offense is primed to explode. The pass catchers should be excited. Their red zone productivity should jump, and their battle in training camp should be a fun one to watch. Even the preseason games where the depth shows should be a pleasure for Raider Nation to watch. With so many players vying for playing time under McDaniels, Raiders camp will be extremely interesting this year.
*Top Photo: ESPN NFL