Wide receiver prospects the Oakland Raiders could potentially target in every round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
An unexpected 6-10 finish for the Oakland Raiders has forced many to evaluate the problems and needs of this team. One gaping hole is the wide receiver core, spearheaded by Amari Cooper, who had his worst season to date in 2017. Opposite of Cooper is Michael Crabtree, who despite snagging touchdowns, has been inconsistent and a distraction off the field. To make matters worse, Oakland extended slot receiver Seth Roberts last August and he only scored one touchdown the entire season, not to mention being plagued by drops.
With rumors swirling of Crabtree’s impending release and Cooper’s inconsistency, it may be pertinent that Oakland takes another receiver or two in the draft. Here are some options they could potentially target in every round of the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft:
Round 1 – Courtland Sutton (SMU)
For years, Oakland has lacked a wide receiver that can consistently go up and get the 50/50 jump balls and be a dominant presence in the red zone. At 6’4″, Sutton has the athleticism and hands to track the ball at its highest point and make plays, along with quality route-running and ability to get separation.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) November 25, 2017
If Oakland wants to get back to the dominant offense of 2016, they need dynamic athletes, and Sutton is the definition of dynamic.
Round 2 – Anthony Miller (Memphis)
As previously mentioned, the Raiders have slot troubles thanks to the inconsistency of Seth Roberts. Special teams star Cordarrelle Patterson was effective when given the opportunity, although limited. Oakland needs a threat on the inside that can consistently catch, get separation on routes, and create in the open-field, and Memphis wideout Anthony Miller is the perfect candidate to do just that.
Anthony Miller WR out of Memphis is turning into a instant draft crush. Amazing hands who can catch in contested coverage.@FPC_NFL#antonymiller #memphis #NFLDraft #NFLDraft2018 pic.twitter.com/wxNYRop0aX
— Fantasy and 49ers (@JL_Chapman) January 5, 2018
The addition of Miller would also draw attention off Cooper and whoever will be lining out opposite of him in 2018. He possesses both great speed and footwork, with the ability to make big plays that could bring back the explosiveness the offense lacked in 2017.
Round 3 – Michael Gallup (Colorado State)
While the coming months and the NFL Combine could see Gallup’s stock rise, getting a receiver of this caliber in Round 3 would be a Godsend for Oakland if he were to be available.
Gallup’s win jump ball over Anthony Averett (who’s a great cover CB). Great concentration and balance in the air. Should’ve been ruled a TD. pic.twitter.com/yp79oMcGFq
— Cagen Cantrell (@CeeingTheDraft) October 19, 2017
Gallup is an all-around outside threat that can get free and be relied on to keep the chains moving or make the big play. He’s lengthy, with plenty of athleticism and a quick first step to boot. He has no fear going over the middle — a trait the current receivers in Oakland lack.
Round 4 – Javon Wims (Georgia)
This Georgia wideout is a big-bodied possession receiver that can catch in traffic with his reliable hands. A good majority of the receivers on the Raiders roster are smaller, crafty guys, so having a 6’3″ deep threat that can keep a drive alive could work wonders for Derek Carr.
javon wims is a player to watch tonight. i think he’s gonna have a nice draft season. shrine game player. pic.twitter.com/uBTJhQmcHR
— charles mcdonald (@FourVerts) January 8, 2018
Wims has solid body control and is crisp in his routes, with vertical ability that could make him a steal on day two.
Round 5 – DJ Moore (Maryland)
The Raiders will have plenty options in slot receivers to place Seth Roberts in this draft, and DJ Moore could be a viable option late.
Another play from DJ Moore. pic.twitter.com/oQ8igRv7sB
— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) December 16, 2017
Moore is a sharp route-runner with good hands and a speedy second gear. He made the most of an underwhelming group of quarterbacks in his time at Maryland, catching nearly everything that came his way. In addition, he is a solid special teams player that could potentially share or takeover punt return responsibilities of Jalen Richard.
Round 6 – Braxton Berrios (Miami)
Oakland will have multiple compensatory picks in the sixth round thanks to free agency departures laast offseason. Reggie McKenzie loves his picks, and he can use this round to bolster key positions such as wide receiver. If he wants to do that, he can look no further than Hurricanes receiver Braxton Berrios.
Nice route by Braxton Berrios, even better after the catch. Gives two guys free admission on the “merry-go-round”, quicker than fast typically but that’s some good looking acceleration. pic.twitter.com/XG9kdaXB1Z
— Cagen Cantrell (@CeeingTheDraft) December 7, 2017
Berrios led all FBS draft-eligible receivers with 9 slot touchdowns, with a 128.4 passer rating when targeted, per Pro Football Focus. Berrios has great hands and gets separation thanks to clean route running. Like Seth Roberts, Berrios is a quality run blocker who attacks oncoming defenders with vigor.
Round 7 – Jester Weah (Pitt)
The Raiders need a reliable deep threat — one that can get free on go routes or slants and create in the open field. In 2017, the team thought that player was Johnny Holton, who despite catching three touchdowns in limited snaps, fumbled just as many times.
Jester Weah one-handed grab. While being held. pic.twitter.com/cQnRHTxNWh
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) February 28, 2017
Jester Weah is a big body (210 pounds), who saw a decline in production due to poor quarterback play. Weah has a great first step, and at 6’3″, he has the size and length to win many jump balls. He’s an ideal red zone threat that uses his body to get separation and can go up for the 50/50 balls.