The Oakland Raiders have used the last several drafts to secure a deep and talented wide receiver corps. In today's NFL, speed is the name of the game at the position and that's exactly what the Raider receivers possess. They have several wide outs that will see the field during the 2012 season. In part two, Raiders 101 will look at the players battling to make the roster or compete for snaps. Here are the receivers that will look to make a big impact in the passing game for the 2012 season.
Darrius Heyward-Bey is coming off his best season as a Raider. Last season the former first round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft started 14 games and made huge strides in production. He caught 64 balls for 975 yards and four touchdowns, silencing the critics after two mediocre years to begin his career. Because of a drunk driving incident during the offseason, which Heyward-Bey has pleaded not guilty too, he does face a possible suspension, but nothing will happen until the legal process runs its course. Despite that, the Raiders' deep threat is looking to build on a solid 2011 and become a consistent and productive number one option for the Raiders.
After Heyward-Bey, the Raiders are loaded with speedy and talented receivers looking to have breakout years. Denarius Moore has had a great offseason that should propel him to a standout season. The 6-0, 195 pound Moore was taken in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. He made a mark his rookie season catching 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns. He also had three 100 yard receiving games and accounted for numerous big plays. He tweaked his hamstring during the first day of mandatory mini-camp and was held out the last two practices. It seemed like a precautionary measure and Moore should be ready for training camp July 30th after six weeks of healing.
“I would say he’s an exceptional route-runner,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Moore. “He’s got great speed. I’m really looking forward to working with Denarius. He’s going to be a really good football player for us. I would compare him to, as far as route-running, I would say he’s a lot like Lance Moore that we had there in New Orleans, but probably a little bit faster and little bit more of a down-the-field threat.”
With Heyward-Bey and Moore looking to be the starters, Jacoby Ford is another speedy Raiders' wide receiver that can make an impact. The 5-9, 185 pound Ford is a compact player with strength and tremendous speed. When the Raiders bring on a third or fourth receiver to spread the field, Ford will give opposing defenses problems. Last season he only made three starts because a foot injury put him on the shelf for six weeks. He missed two other games early in the season. In 2012 Ford is healthy again, participating in the offseason workouts and looking to stay healthy so he can be a weapon in the offense. Ford also provides help and explosiveness in the kick return game. In two seasons he has taken four kickoffs back for touchdowns.
These three wide receivers will be key to the success of the passing game this season. Their speed and ability give the Raiders a dangerous combination. However, they are not the only wide receivers that can contribute this season. Tomorrow Raiders 101 will look at the other players competing to contribute for the Raiders.
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