Raiders Early Preview: Wide Receivers

Oakland Raiders WR Antonio Brown
The Oakland Raiders new wide receiver Antonio Brown and his family along with head coach Jon Gruden, far left, and general manager Mike Mayock, far right, pose for photographs following a news conference held at the team's headquarters in Alameda, Calif., on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

When the Oakland Raiders open up their receivers’ room, they will see a bunch of change. With several occupied by depth, one thing remains clear: talent exists. Perhaps Derek Carr will enjoy his best complete group of wideouts during his Oakland tenure. Below, the nine players sitting on the roster, jobs at the back end of the rotation will be scarce.

Antonio Brown

While people remain upset with Jon Gruden for shelving Brown during the preseason, examine the facts. Why endanger him within games that are, in fact, meaningless? Yet, when he steps on the field, expect catches, yards and chemistry with Carr. Few wideouts possess the vast route tree and possess the twitchy nimbleness to shake corners.

Tyrell Williams

If you look at his signing in concert with the Brown trade, Mayock and Gruden excelled. For Antonio Brown’s entire elite route running, he needs a threat on the other side. Williams’ ability to win vertically will force defenses to play honest. His 16.3 yards per catch will throw fear into secondaries.

JJ Nelson

While Nelson brings excellent speed to the fold, questions remain. How will he fit within an offense predicated on pinpoint routes. Granted, Nelson can run every pattern, but can he run them to Gruden’s liking?

Marcell Ateman

With the receiving corps decimated by injury and trade, Ateman saw burn. Despite not being blessed with electric burst, Ateman’s frame will see targets. His knack for bodying corner and presented himself as open helps the quarterback.

Ryan Grant

In the construct of the Gruden offense, the Raiders should use Grant as the slot/third wideout. Granted, he will not streak away from defenses, Grant knows his role. Finding soft spots in the zone and converting third downs should see him fight for snaps.

Hunter Renfrow

Like Grant, Renfrow profiles as a a third receiver, a slot monster to put pressure on the defense. Yet, Renfrow may hold the edge over Grant. His above-average hands despite their size will stand out in camp. Point blank, he catches just about everything thrown his way.

Dwayne Harris

At this point, is he considered a receiver? Granted, his special teams play should earn him a spot, but Harris’ route skills do not translate into the Gruden offense. More of a screen/jet sweep type, Harris’ value isn’t on offense.

Keelan Doss

If he manages to win a roster spot, along with Te’von Coney, this could be the Mike Mayock’s most underrated roster move. During his career at UC Davis, Doss broke records in every major category. With the Raiders, his size, route tracing, and ability to fight through contact give him the best chance to nail down a spot.



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