Entering 2022 Training Camp, Raiders.com will preview every position group and evaluate the players who will potentially make up the 53-man roster.Up next is the wide receiver room.
Of the Raiders wide receivers returning from last season, Hunter Renfrow is the star of the show.
The slot receiver is coming off the best year of his career ever – professional or collegiate. Renfrow established himself as that guy for Derek Carr. After combining for 105 catches and six touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons, Renfrow totaled 103 catches and nine touchdown grabs in 2021 – leading the team in both of those categories. Not to mention he hasn't missed a game the past two seasons.
"Hunter is one of the true leaders on this team, and he exemplifies the values of the organization in how he comes to work every day," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said after Renfrow signed a multi-year extension this offseason. "He is a tremendous teammate on and off the field, and the entire Raider Nation is excited to see what the future holds for Hunter."
As for Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner, both have an opportunity to carve a role for themselves as return specialists. Johnson was signed off the Los Angeles Chargers practice squad last season and had eight returns for 156 yards for the Raiders. Turner was on the practice squad the duration of last season after signing as a UDFA out of Pittsburgh. His redshirt senior year as a Panther, he led the team in punt and kick return yardage.
Dillon Stoner was one of the few rookie UDFAs from last year that saw regular season action, appearing in six games. He's certainly a sleeper receiver to keep a look at in Training Camp.
What more can be said about Davante Adams that hasn't already been said?
Two-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler, 73 career touchdown receptions and nearly 700 career catches.
Adams has been considered an elite receiver for years and now finds himself on a new team for the first time in his NFL career. He now reunites with Derek Carr, who he played with at Fresno State for two seasons. The two led NCAA Division I in multiple statistical categories in that time span and are good friends off the field. Pairing Adams with Renfrow should prove to be an exciting duo, as the two receivers both had more than 100 catches and more than 1,000 receiving yards last season.
"I've been around a lot of people that are like Hunter but they're never usually going into their fourth year with the type of football acumen that he has, his awareness and understanding why he does these things," Adams said about Renfrow during minicamp. "There's people out there with a lot of talent but they can't sit there and break it down and tell you why they're doing what they did with their footwork or the next rep, why they tweaked it a little bit because of the look that they had. His awareness and his football smarts, he's definitely ahead of his time."
The competition for the starting role opposite of Adams is wide open. Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole and Mack Hollins are all viable options to look at given their veteran experience and success up to this point in their careers. Out of the three, Cole has the most career receiving yards (2,691) and catches (187), while Robinson has the most career starts (42) – along with a Super Bowl ring he won with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hollins had a prosperous 2021 season, becoming a red zone threat for the Miami Dolphins with four touchdown grabs.
As for the rest of the WR room, Jordan Veasy played two games last season with the Houston Texans and Justin Hall is the lone UDFA signing. Hall was a receiver, running back and return specialist at Ball State – notching two All-Mid-American Conference First Team selections.