During the owner’s meetings, Jon Gruden mentioned his feeling about needing another receiver in the mix. For most, that lends belief that the Raiders will draft a wideout next month. With only that as a clear indication, the Raiders, via ten picks will have many opportunities to pick a wideout that fits what Gruden seeks.
If you are looking for a burner that scorches stopwatches, this is not the man. However, Hamilton brings what Gruden craves most in a wideout. Without a doubt, Hamilton runs the most precise routes of any. From the snap, Hamilton explodes off the line with purpose. In and out of his breaks, you will not see any wasted motion. In Gruden’s scheme, the Raiders need receivers with near-perfect timing. Hamilton gains separation by the route tree. If you remember Keenan McCardell, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Keyshawn Johnson did not have the greatest downfield speed. Yet, they found a way. As a result, Hamilton could provide a willing mid-draft target for the Raiders.
Equanimeous St. Brown
First, Gruden does love a school pedigree. St.Brown attended college at Notre Dame, so that is automatically a plus. More importantly, St.Brown possesses the size and catch radius that the Raiders currently lack. Next, St.Brown displays fearlessness while going over the middle. Granted, he knows the safety approaches, yet he will make the catch. In addition, St.Brown brings much-coveted big play ability. While Gruden prefers the measured approach to offense, he is not foolish. He knows that big plays vertically will open up the run game. That will be the bread and butter for the Raiders.
While Washington does own Hamilton’s route running or St.Brown frame, he possesses a trait that Gruden loves. Whether at the line or in space, Washington exhibits a physicality that would earn him the Gruden Grinder title. Washington looks like a running back in a wideout’s frame. However, he runs with a great burst. Moreover, he will contact a cornerback, forcing them to drive him out of bounds.
In essence, any of these three will languish as the fourth wideout. With Seth Roberts holding down the third spot, for now, upward roster mobility could be a tough one. On the other hand, with a strong camp, snaps could find their way to them. These three are not the most physically impressive or splashy picks, but they eat show something that Jon Gruden demands of his receivers.