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2015 Position Review: Wide Receivers

Posted Feb 17, 2016

As the NFL offseason gets underway, Raiders.com takes a look back at the current Raiders roster and breaks down each position.

More Position Reviews: Quarterbacks, Safeties, Offensive Line, Cornerbacks, Defensive Line

Overview: In just one season, it seems like Derek Carr went from famine to feast as far as the weapons at his disposal were concerned.

During his rookie season, Carr’s receiving yardage leader totaled just 693 receiving yards and four touchdowns, but in 2015 he had two receivers, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, who easily eclipsed those numbers, and had four receivers that found the end zone at least four times.

Heading into last season, the wide receiving corps was an area that needed to be addressed, and General Manager Reggie McKenzie did just that, selecting Cooper with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and signing Crabtree in free agency.

As the season wore on, the group flashed its depth, with former practice squad player Seth Roberts rising up and securing the role as the No. 3 receiver, and demonstrating a flare for the dramatic as well.

Additionally, Andre Holmes found himself in the mix too, catching 14 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

By The Numbers: Cooper’s 1,070 receiving yards are the second most by any NFL player 21 or younger, trailing just Randy Moss’ 1,313 yards in 1998. He also became the first rookie in team history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards, and was the first Raider to do so since Moss in 2005.

Going Forward: As it stands now, both of the Silver and Black’s leading wide receivers are under contract through 2016 and beyond.

Cooper is entering the second year of his rookie deal and Crabtree was signed to a four-year extension in early December, meaning that Carr will have his top two targets on the outside for the foreseeable future.

Starting slot receiver Seth Roberts is also highly likely to be back in Oakland next season as he is an exclusive rights free agent, meaning that once he’s offered his tender, he can only play for the Raiders in 2016. If the Raiders don’t tender him by March 9, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team.

However, the bottom of the group presents the most intrigue going forward.

Both Andre Holmes and Rod Streater are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents heading into 2016, and as of now, both of their futures remain uncertain.

Holmes was a key special teams contributor last season and also demonstrated a knack for hauling in acrobatic passes from Carr, and Streater, although only active for one game was the team’s leading receiver just two seasons ago.

As the Raiders gear up for their second season under Head Coach Jack Del Rio, the top of the receiving corps is solid, with a few questions towards the bottom of the roster.

Standout Performer: It would be easy to give the nod to Cooper, and he would be more than deserving.

He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, but I’m going to have to go with Crabtree here.

In his first season in Silver and Black, he hauled in 85 receptions for 922 yards and nine touchdowns, and was arguably the team’s most consistent receiver throughout the season.

He also hauled in six touchdown catches of 25-plus yards, which tied him with Odell Beckham, Jr., and Brandin Cooks for the most in the NFL in 2015.