The Oakland Raiders finished the rollercoaster 2019 season at 7-9, missing the playoffs after losing five of their last six contests. The NFL’s second-worst offense finished without a wideout catching for over 700 yards. The acquisition of former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown was supposed to open the offense,but that fizzled before preseason, resulting in his release.
The Raiders receivers struggled in every way possible – from health, to hands to separation. After trading two picks away for underwhelming acquisitions Trevor Davis and Zay Jones, the Raiders are left looking for help. Luckily, this may be the most highly-touted receiving draft class ever. Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden has thrust himself on the national radar, finishing top-five in every statistical category. He’s no overnight success, with this being his second-consecutive season of at least 70 receptions and 1000 yards.
Coming in at 6’4″, 220 pounds, Gandy-Golden has great size, coupled with long arms that are essential for high-pointing. Showcases grown-man strength when fighting for extra yards or bringing down 50/50 balls.
Gandy-Golden suffers from what we often see in bigger wideouts lacking great speed. He relies on jab steps and minimal head movement at the point of contact. Very physical coming down with the ball and after the catch, but struggles at the line of scrimmage with getting free of a jam. At the next level, he’ll be asked to run more than half of the routes on the tree, and he’ll need to work on his press release if he’d like to get and stay on the field.
Gandy-Golden uses his size and strength to his advantage. More times than not, he’s bigger than the corner, and he engages well. You will rarely see him drive the defender out of bounds or into the ground through the whistle, but he can hold his block purely on strength and a strong base.
Gandy-Golden is a pretty decent athlete for his size. Will electrify with his array of one-handed catches and amazing body control. Uses his body well to box out, coupled with great awareness of where he is on the field. Will be a serious redzone threat at the next level.
Some of the most reliable hands in the draft class. Whether it’s in the redzone, or he’s catching a one-handed bomb over two defenders, you can count on AGG to come down with the ball. Through September, he ranked third in the nation in most targets without a drop. Has great body control and awareness to extend and secure the ball and stay inbounds. Not a chest-catcher, fully extends long arms and grabs and secures the ball. After the catch he tucks it away and is aware of incoming defenders.
Tyrell Williams was forced to be a primary receiver for the first time in his career with the release of Antonio Brown. Williams struggled mightily with health and consistency. Gandy-Golden can step in and produce immediately, whether it be as wide receiver no. 2 or as a rotation guy. The Raiders have been struggling to find a consistent redzone threat, as they rank as one of the league’s worst redzone teams over the last two seasons. While the Raiders need to overhaul the wideout group completely, a guy like AGG would be a great start for building in Las Vegas.