Despite not adding a wide receiver in the draft, head coach Dennis Allen believes the passing game can make some noise this upcoming season.
“I’m really excited about the whole receiving corps really, because I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that have an opportunity to surprise some people,” Allen said on Monday.
The Raiders currently have an average age of 24 years old with their current wide receiver corps on the roster: Greg Jenkins, Brice Butler, Rahsaan Vaughn, Greg Little, Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes, Mike Davis, Rod Streater, Juron Criner, Seth Robert and James Jones.
If the Raiders keep six receivers, it’ll most likely be Jones, Streater, Holmes, Moore, Little, Butler.
Butler, a second-year wide receiver that was drafted in the seventh round last year out of San Diego State, has improved his route running and has had a solid camp. He believes the coaches and front office have done a nice job of creating competition and a squad that has potential from top to bottom.
“Whoever’s called up, we’ll make the plays,” Butler said the first week of training camp. “Last year Andre went in and started making plays when D-Mo went down. It doesn’t matter. I feel like we have a well-rounded group of guys, we don’t really have a lopsided group of receivers. It’s not really like we’ve got a great guy here and the number-five guy won’t ever see the field. I feel like everyone of our guys can play and contribute. When our number is called, we just have to make those plays.”
This seems to be a popular sentiment running around the locker room.
The Raiders signed veteran wide receiver James Jones in the offseason to a three-year deal, bringing a solid veteran presence in the locker room with the ability to produce. Jones has hauled in 310 receptions for 4,305 yards and 37 touchdowns. He led the NFL in touchdown receptions in 2012 with 14.
Jones has heard the rumblings that the team doesn’t currently have a true number one receiver, but knows that it doesn’t matter as long as the wide receiving corps goes out and does their job.
“Man, as long as we all go out there and make plays, I don’t care about number one, number two, number three… as long as we all go out there and make plays and help our team win, that’s all that matters,” Jones said after a practice earlier in training camp.
Schaub is also excited about the new toys he has at wide receiver and believes they have the potential to surprise a lot of people this upcoming season.
“Yeah, there are a lot of guys that not many people know about,” Shaub said about his wide receivers after Monday’s practice. “After coming here and working with them now for four or five months, this is a good group. I’m excited about it. It’s as good as I’ve been around. From top to bottom, great competition, a lot of guys that can go out and have different skillsets, but yet are competing their tails off. Really, it’s exciting to come to work every day and have that group, you know, from one through eight or nine, that you can go out and feel comfortable throwing them the ball.”