With the preseason almost half over, the Raiders still have many important decisions to make. One regards the wideouts. With at least six or seven possible options, the Raiders must make a decision soon. To give perspective on how Oakland could proceed, FPC Raiders writers Aspuria, Berry, and Richards discuss the issue.
Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson operating the outside roles while Ryan Switzer holds down the slot. Martavis Bryant allows Coop and Nelson to slide inside while Marcell Ateman fills the tall receiver role vacated by Andre Holmes. Johnny Holton is the special teamer with an occasional deep role.
That leaves Seth Roberts and others out in the cold.
I see no way the Raiders hang on to Ateman if he is waived (with team attempting to sneak him on practice squad).
Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Johnny Holton, Ryan Switzer, Seth Roberts, & Isaac Whitney. Roberts and Whitney are battling for a roster spot and Whitney is a much cheaper cap hit with much more upside. He is already a solid special teams player. Roberts’ time in Oakland has come and gone. Tight end Jared Cook is a fourth option and still has wide receiver type athleticism that puts stress on the middle of the field. Roberts is not a better slot option than Nelson or the deep threat that Bryant is.
When I look over the Raiders’ wide receiver depth chart, I get very excited for the season. Having Nelson, Cooper, and Bryant on one team should scare other teams. Nevertheless, with three impressive wide receivers comes an intimidating question. Who will be the fourth, and final, wide receiver to make the cut? While three weeks before the regular season may still be too close to call, the Raiders will have to decide eventually.
Seth Roberts appears to be the front-runner as he has had the most experience playing with Carr. I would like to also note that every game Seth Roberts scored a touchdown, the Raiders did win. However, superstitions must slide aside. One player fighting for a spot to make note of is Ryan Switzer. Switzer came from Dallas in the Jihad Ward trade and is the only player on the Raiders to catch a touchdown pass this preseason.
During his touchdown, Connor Cook was pushed out of the pocket on the left side of the field. Switzer was running a deep slant across the field heading right to left. Switzer saw that Cook was struggling to find anyone open and cut back to the right behind the zone coverage. Although I am unsure if the duo used telepathy to communicate or if it was just luck but Cook found Switzer almost immediately. That type of wherewithal to cut back and find an empty spot on the field could be exactly what the Raiders need from a wide receiver.