The Oakland Raiders were looking at Bernard Berrian and Donte Stallworth as possible upgrades to their depleted wide receiver corps. Along the way Berrian stayed in the NFC North and and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Donte Stallworth joined Brayon Edwards and Kellen Winslow in Cleveland to give the Browns a dangerous receiving squad. The Raiders must now go back to their flow charts and look at plan B. Perhaps they could go after Bryant Johnson, Javon Walker, or DJ Hackett. Or they may see better options in the draft. I would think that they land at least one free agent.
Bryant Johnson has been successful as a third receiver in Arizona, but when Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Bouldin are the one and two, so being third is misleading. He also benefited from the extra coverage given to Bouldin and Fitzgerald, so its hard to say how well he would do as a front line threat.
DJ Hackett has been injury prone in his career, but when healthy he has been a very good receiver for the SeaHawks. The Raiders may try to roll the dice on Hackett with an incentive laden deal.
Javon Walker was released by the arch rival Denver Broncos. When he is on, he is a very good threat at receiver. He has battled injuries, and the baggage of having his best friend Darrent Williams die in his arms. Maybe a change of scenery would help Walker get back on track. This would be a classic Al Davis signing here, a receiver with a bit of a troubled past, great physical tools, that is coming from a division rival. If Walker holds any ill will towards the Broncos organization he may be licking his chops to come to the arch rivals and show that he can do it.
There is no all world receiver in the draft this year as there was with Calvin Johnson last year. If the Raiders are going to target a receiver in the first, they would likely trade down with that pick. Al Davis could love Desean Jackson from Cal, because he would remind Al of the should be Hall of Famer Cliff Branch. If he falls to the second, I don’t think that there is any way that Al could pass on him.
The Raiders do need to do something with their receiver position. They made the first positive move by shipping Jerry Porter out, now they need someone in his place who will actually play.