The Oakland Raiders are looking to bounce back this year after a sluggish 4-12 record last season. They are going to need all the help they can get from their players, and one particular guy seems to be poised to break out this year.
That man is third-year wide receiver Rod Streater, who caught 60 balls for 888 yards and four touchdowns for the Raiders just a season ago.
Streater plays with a pretty big chip on his shoulder, as he had to work his way up the depth chart as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Temple University. But that motivation seems to have served him well, as he reeled in 39 passes for 584 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season.
He’s got good hands and awareness and is definitely an above average route runner. His size isn’t bad for a player of his position, and he has sure made the most of it.
This season, Streater will be playing with some new talent on the offensive end, which will no doubt help make his job easier. The Raiders brought in veteran quarterback Matt Schaub to run the offense and even brought in wide receiver James Jones, the former Green Bay Packer with a quality resume.
Playing with an experienced Schaub (the presumed starter) will certainly help Streater get more touches on the offensive end and it is important that they develop a relationship early on to get a better feel for each other. However, he will probably be working with rookie quarterback Derek Carr as well, as earlier offseason reports hinted Carr as a possible starter come Week One.
The addition of James Jones this offseason will no doubt take some pressure off Streater, as defenses will have to worry about another threat to catch balls and score points. The Raiders’ previous wide receivers have been pretty inconsistent throughout the years, so it will be nice to have another legitimate option to throw the ball to. Jones has totaled 4, 305 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns over his seven-year NFL career. The Streater-Jones duo could be a deadly one for defenses once the season starts, so don’t sleep on them now.
I expect Streater to have a terrific 2014-2015 season. With the new offensive talent that the Raiders have drafted and acquired this offseason, I have no doubt in my mind that Streater will be able to force serious pressure on his opponents. Even his offensive coordinator, Greg Olson, has seen improvement from the third-year wideout.
“Rod Streater has gotten better every week that he’s been here, just works hard and has gotten a little bigger as well,” Olson said.
It’s important to note that Olson nods at Streater’s work ethic, something that he seems to have developed throughout a lifetime of being underrated. But that title may not fit him for much longer.