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One look at the pending free agent wide receiver class can raise some eyebrows. With names like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, and Kenny Golladay on that list, there are a lot of fans with big visions. Well, get your head out of the clouds because it’s unlikely any of them will actually hit the market.
All three figure to either be slapped with the franchise tag or receive a long-term deal with their current team. Sorry if that bursts some bubbles, but that’s just the reality of the situation. That leaves JuJu Smith-Schuster as the lone star-level talent at the position which means he is going to get silly money the Raiders just can’t afford to match if they would even try.
The cupboard won’t be bare, though. First off, the Raiders need to try to bring back Nelson Agholor. If not — or perhaps even if they can — there are a few receivers that could fill their needs at the position on the market.
When former second-round pick Zay Jones became available in trade two years ago, the Raiders jumped on it. Well, ranked just ahead of Jones by Mike Mayock that year was Corey Davis. And while Davis never lived up to his selection as the first WR taken in that draft at fifth overall, he has shown improvement throughout his career and is coming off his best season as a pro at the age of 25.
The 6-3, 209-pounder was always seen as an ideal big, vertical, high-point, contested-ball catcher. Last season he started living up to it with career highs in catches (65), yards (984), touchdowns (5), and catch percentage (70.7%). He would fill the role Tyrell Williams was supposed to fill quite nicely.
Marvin Jones Jr.
Four times in his career, Jones has had at least nine touchdown catches, including his last three near full seasons. He’s been a solid number two caliber receiver for much of his career. Though Jones will be 31 in March, he’s coming off his best season since 2017 when he put up 1101 yards.
His 76 catches last season were a career-high and he has caught over 66% of his targets the past two seasons, also the best of his career. The 6-2, 200-pounder is an outside starter at the Z, but has also seen a good amount of time as a big-bodied slot receiver.
The former undrafted free agent has put up some respectable numbers over his four-year career despite consistently shaky and underwhelming QB play in Jacksonville. Cole led the team in receiving as a rookie. His 5 receiving touchdowns last season were tied for the team lead while his 55 catches for 642 yards were both second on the team.
The 6-1, 194-pounder wouldn’t be the flashiest signing, but he is a reliable receiver who would compete for a starting spot with Bryan Edwards while providing a solid skillset.
Last offseason, Perriman hit the free-agent market coming off an outstanding finish, averaging over 100 yards per game over the final five games. It came at just the right moment for the former 26th overall pick, leading some to believe that the big, speedy receiver was finally living up to his draft potential.
Then he signed with the Jets. And with Sam Darnold now throwing him the ball, he dropped back to numbers closer to his rookie season, catching just 30 passes for 505 yards in 12 starts.
Interestingly enough, Mike Mayock had Perriman as his fourth-ranked WR in the 2015 draft, just ahead of Nelson Agholor, who revived his career with the Raiders last season. If the Raiders are unable to re-sign Agholor, they could be looking at Perriman as a similar receiver in a similar situation; once again looking to prove he is a starting NFL receiver worthy of his former first-round draft status.
Others: TY Hilton, Sammy Watkins
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