Oakland Raiders Positional Break Down: Wide Receiver

Currently, the Raiders have twelve wide receivers on their roster. Obviously some of these guys are just war, bodies for training camp, but we'll focus on the guys who have proven something in college and the pros.

The Raiders’ #1 receiver at this point has to be Darrius Heyward-Bey. Taken eighth overall in 2009, he had a rough start to his career, with more dropped passes than one cares to think about. He came on strong last year with nearly a thousand yards receiving and four touchdowns. With Carson Palmer throwing the passes, it is fair to expect an even better year from him in 2012.

Jacoby Ford would have to be considered the team’s #2 receiver, although he is talented enough to be considered a #1. He is blazing fast and is a dynamo in the return game. The Raiders will look to use him in a variety of ways, including on screens and deep outs. He is not tall enough to win many jump balls, but can use his speed to gain separation.

Denarius Moore was a steal in the fourth round last year and quickly established himself as one of the game’s premier young wideouts. He is a true deep threat in the Julio Jones mold and has good enough hands to catch the tough balls over the middle.

Louis Murphy is fourth on the depth chart, and while talented usually doesn’t get enough balls thrown his way to make an impact. However, in the case of injury he can be a capable fill-in, and would have already done so if he did not have such a durability problem himself. In any case, he currently stands as quality depth for the WR position.

Lastly on the "real players" list we have Raiders 2012 draft pick Juron Criner. He was one of the top receivers in the Pac-12 for the majority of his collegiate career, and fell in the draft likely due to a poor 40 time. However, at his Pro Day he ran a 4.5 so he isn’t exactly slow. The Raiders have plenty of speedy receivers, what they need is a guy with good size and great hands. That is exactly what Criner brings to the table. He put on a total show at OTAs, catching everything thrown his way. Given the opportunity he could be a major weapon for the Raiders this year and should figure heavily in their plans for years to come.

The full WR depth chart is as follows:

Darrius Heyward-Bey
Jacoby Ford
Denarius Moore
Louis Murphy
Juron Criner
Duke Calhoun
Thomas Mayo
Eddie McGee
Travionte Session
Rod Streater
Derek Carrier
Brandon Carswell

For more on the Oakland Raiders, join the discussion over at Silver And Black Pride. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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