Coming into the offseason, it was clear that the Raiders needed some help at receiver. When your leading receiver has just 22 catches, there is no escaping that inevitable fact. The problem, however, was not so much quantity but quality. The Raiders had plenty of receivers to choose from but some couldn’t stay healthy, some had attitude problems and others were still developing their skills.
The list of receivers available in free agency was a long one. Many of whom were swiped up by other teams prior to the draft. But there is still a great many that are out there for the taking. The Raiders have stood pat on signing free agent receivers but the way they have gone after them in the draft and with undrafted free agents is puzzling.
Take a look at the list of receivers the Raiders currently have on the roster going into camp:
WR Javon Walker
WR Jonnie Lee Higgins
WR Chaz Schilens
WR Jonathan Holland
WR Darius Heyward-Bey
WR Louis Murphy
WR Arman Shields
WR Todd Watkins
WR Shawn Bayes
WR Drew Carter
WR Ashley Lelie
WR Nick Miller
WR Chris Johnson
Javon Walker just restructured so he will be with the team if only in a reserve role for the foreseeable future.
Shawn Bayes and Nick Miller are small quick guys who are seen more as return specialists than anything– Yet another position in which the Raiders are set already.
All the while the team is collecting what looks to be a lot of disposable receivers, they are sitting on their hands in regards to other positions of dire need.
There are players at other desperately weak positions that still need some help. Positions like safety, defensive tackle, and guard. Players at those positions are much more difficult to come by.
So far the offseason, draft, and post draft aquistions at these positions look like this:
DT Ryan Boschetti FA, Redskins
DT Desmond Bryant, UDFA, Harvard
OG Jonathan Compas, UDFA, UC Davis
S Michael Mitchell, D-2, Ohio
And that’s IT! Four players at three desperately weak positions in an entire offseason thus far. Only one is expected to contribute as a starter– Michael Mitchell. He could also be the only one to even make the roster at the beginning of the season.
Not to mention, the way the Raiders are signing linebackers, you would think they were switching to a 3-4 or something.
In regards to the defensive tackle position, Cable, was quoted as saying “This team has good players, they just don’t always play like it.” Which is probably the weirdest thing I have ever heard Cable say. There are endless jokes that can be made of that quote. Like “I have a great car but sometimes it just doesn’t run like it.” or “The sex is great but sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way. ” or “TO is a great guy but sometimes he just doesn’t act like it.”
Or how about; “They are not great players if sometimes they don’t play like it”? Great players are consistently great. Hell, I would settle for consistently GOOD at this juncture.
One thing about it, this team will have plenty of offensive weapons next season. Good luck getting the ball back from the other team’s offense though when the line can’t stop the run and the corners and linebackers have little help at the safety position.
If the Raiders are this desperate for receivers, why not grab a few of the proven receivers still looking for homes as free agents? It is not that I disagree with the drafting of receivers and undrafted free agents but come on already.