The Las Vegas Raiders have a deep wide receiver room but the one thing that it’s lacking is size. Jakobi Meyers is the tallest receiver at 6-foot-2 but they have three wide receivers 5-foot-10 or under.
If the Raiders feel like they need some more size, they may want to consider taking a look at Austin Watkins Jr., per Bleacher Report. Kristopher Knox pitched the idea of the team poaching Watkins off of the Cleveland Browns practice squad and signing him to a $3.9 million contract.
“Las Vegas has a strong receiving trio in Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Jakobi Meyers, However, Adams will turn 31 in December, and Renfrow is coming off an injury-hampered season,” Knox wrote in a September 4 column. “Watkins could contribute as a fourth or fifth receiver while giving the Raiders a potential future starter.
“The Raiders would, of course, have to hope that Cleveland doesn’t match an offer. However, making a run at Watkins is precisely the sort of gamble a reloading team like Las Vegas should make.”
Watkins is 6-foot-3 and flashed some potential but has never played in an NFL regular season game. $3.9 million is a lot for a player who hasn’t played and isn’t a rookie. If they were able to get him at a lower price, Watkins could be appealing to the Raiders.
Davante Adams Expected to Have Big Season Despite QB Change
A big reason Davante Adams came to the Raiders last year was for the chance to play with quarterback Derek Carr. Their partnership only lasted one season and now he’ll be catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo. Adams didn’t see much of a drop-off going from Aaron Rodgers to Carr so it’s possible that he’ll be able to keep up his All-Pro production going from Carr to Garoppolo.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur predicts that Adams will be in for another big season in 2023.
“I think Adams would post those numbers with me at quarterback, he is so wide open,” Tafur wrote in a September 1 column. “Adams is the best receiver in the NFL — yes, over Justin Jefferson! — and, beyond his physical skills, it’s because of his ability to play mind games with defensive backs. He really is playing speed chess out there. He also made some noise this offseason about not being on the same page as the Raiders brass, and they are going to make sure Jimmy 9 G’s keeps throwing to Adams. As if he needed to be told.”
Can Las Vegas Raiders Have Top-10 Offense in 2023?
Last season, the Raiders offense finished 12th in points per game (23.2) and yards per game (352.5). While expectations aren’t high for Las Vegas this season, the offense has the pieces to be very good in 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo is a better fit in Josh Mcdaniels’ offense than Derek Carr was and a healthy Michael Mayer should be an upgrade over an unhealthy Darren Waller.
That’s not to mention more continuity on the offense line should help. The Raiders have the tools to be a top-10 offense in the NFL. McDaniels was considered one of the best play callers in the NFL prior to joining the team. If that’s true, anything less than a top-10 offense would be a disappointment.