Raiders training camp preview: Receivers

Raiders training camp preview: Receivers
July 21, 2014, 10:45 am
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James Jones will add a level of experience and consistency as a possession receiver, especially in the red zone.
Scott Bair

Editor’s note: Insider Scott Bair will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to Raiders training camp. The full squad will report on July 23, with the first practice day scheduled for July 25. This morning, Scott focuses on wide receivers.

Who they have: James Jones, Brice Butler, Juron Criner, Mike Davis, Andre Holmes, Greg Jenkins, Greg Little, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Seth Roberts, Rahsaan Vaughn.

Who they lost: Jacoby Ford, Jared Green

Looking back: The Raiders spent last season without a typical No. 1 receiver. They featured a young core with no playoff/big-game experience, which hurt some in big moments. Inconsistent quarterback play hindered them some as well.

Streater had the strongest year, flirting with a 1,000-yard season before falling just short. He ended up with 60 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns.

Holmes had flashes of brilliance later in the year and proved to be strong on deep routes. Moore remained inconsistent – maddeningly so at times – and still ended up with 695 yards and five TDs.

Butler didn’t get many opportunities and Criner was inactive for most of the year, before ending up on injured reserve.

Overall outlook: Jones will add a level of experience and consistency as a possession receiver, especially in the red zone. He had a career-best 817 yards last season, and had 14 touchdowns in 2012. He should provide an instant upgrade in the passing game and could make those around him better with quality leadership. Streater and Holmes should be heavily involved, and Moore is looking for big-time production in the final year of this contract.

Camp competition: Expect a battle on the back end of the depth chart. Jones, Streater, Holmes and Moore are virtually assured of a roster spot, but the last two (assuming the Raiders keep six on hand, as they did last year) are up for grabs. Little will fight for one after being released by Cleveland. Criner and Butler need strong preseason showings to stay in the mix. Jenkins could make the squad as well, particularly if he is the team’s primary kick returner.