The Las Vegas Raiders are getting a good look at some top wide receiver prospects at the NFL Combine and it’s certainly possible the team uses its first-round pick to address the position. It’s one of their biggest needs heading into the 2022 season. If the team would prefer to use a valuable draft pick on a different position, there are some great options at wide receiver in free agency.
Davante Adams will be the name most commonly linked to the Raiders. He played college ball with Derek Carr at Fresno State and the quarterback hasn’t been shy about wanting to reunite with the star wide receiver. However, he’s going to cost a lot of money. While Adams is arguably the most valuable wide receiver in the NFL, the Raiders could be wiser to spend their money more smartly.
One wide receiver on the market who could be had for a decent price is D.J. Chark. The Jacksonville Jaguars free agent is coming off an injury-plagued year where he only played in four games. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin projects that the Raiders will sign him to a three-year, $37.5 million contract this offseason.
“Since the loss of Henry Ruggs, the Raiders have sorely missed a steady deep threat for Derek Carr,” Benjamin wrote. “Chark has plenty to prove after an injury-marred close to his Jaguars run, but he pairs nicely with Hunter Renfrow in Vegas.”
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Chark Is a Ridiculous Athlete
Chark has been the victim of injury issues and bad quarterback play in Jacksonville. That didn’t stop him from making the Pro Bowl in 2019. He’s got so much untapped potential waiting to be unleashed. First of all, he’s an absolutely ridiculous athletic specimen. He’s 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.34 40-yard dash.
When he made the Pro Bowl in 2019, he mostly had Gardner Minshew throwing him the ball. He could turn into a superstar with a better quarterback. The Jaguars would be making a mistake to let him walk in free agency but he might be eager for a fresh start.
Raiders Would Be Perfect Fit for Chark
If the Raiders have decided that they aren’t going to spend big on Adams, they should be preparing to make Chark an offer. He’ll cost half of what Adams is going to make and could develop into a true No. 1 wide receiver. Thanks to his size and speed, he could be an elite deep threat, which the Raiders were lacking last season.
Carr wants to air the ball out more and Chark would be a great target for him. The injuries are concerning but $12.5 million isn’t a bad number for a wide receiver with Pro Bowl potential. New general manager Dave Ziegler played a big role in the New England Patriots spending big on wide receivers during last year’s free agency. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he took that same approach with the Raiders.