When the Raiders roll into camp, their wide receiver corps could expand. On Saturday, NFL.com reported former Steelers wideout Eli Rogers would visit Oakland this week. With that, the picture at wide receiver becomes murkier by the minute. Granted, Rogers is not the lead receiver or even number two options. Yet, Oakland’s perceived interest in him could signal the end for Seth Roberts.
If you have watched Seth Roberts over the past two seasons, you have noticed a few key aspects to his game. First, Roberts displays the tendency to round off routes. That is to say, instead of using sharp cuts to gain separation, Roberts will not plant hard and cut. As a result, timing with Derek Carr is thrown off. The pass usually falls incomplete or winds up as an interception.
Meanwhile, Rogers stays within his limitations are a possession receiver. In fact, Rogers succeeded with the seam slant, cross, and hitch. Each of those requires perfect execution and crisp cutting. Advantage: Rogers
Rogers puts distance between himself and corners with a strong first step and little wasted movement. With each step, purpose and advantage will follow. Rogers, if given the right route tree could beat a slot corner deep.
On the other hand, Roberts uses quickness and a little physicality off the snap. He will handfight off the line and use his frame to get position on his opponents. While not pretty. That approach does work.
As we all know, Jon Gruden prefers bigger wideouts. In his mind, larger receivers give the passer a larger margin for error. In addition, Roberts punishes defenders with crisp blocking. Alternatively, Rogers is slight and cannot block due to his size limitations
Over his first two seasons, Rogers only piled up one excellent catch percentage year. In 2016, Rogers snared 72.7 percent of his targets. Now, that should be enough to clinch the spot, right? Not exactly. Last season, Rogers caught just 50 percent of his ball.
Conversely, Roberts completed his best catch season, tallying a 66.2 clip. However, those numbers looks deflated due to the lower yards per catch.
In essence, Eli Rogers potentially signing with the Raiders makes Seth Roberts dispensable. Yet, Rogers coming off major knee surgery tilts the contest slightly towards Roberts. If Rogers shows his previous form and passes a physical, which would bode well for Roberts.