One of the strongest position groups on the Las Vegas Raiders is wide receiver. The group is led by two Pro Bowlers Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams. The team also added Jakobi Meyers, who led the New England Patriots in receiving yards last season.
Despite wide receiver not being a need, the Raiders continue to add to their room. The team announced that they have signed Kristian Wilkerson. To make room for him, they released wide receiver Tyler Johnson.
Wilkerson should be familiar with a number of players and coaches on the Raiders due to the fact that he was with the Patriots from 2020 to 2022. He was originally an undrafted free agent of the Tennessee Titans but has only played in games for the Patriots. He has played in four games over his career and has made four catches for 42 yards. He should be familiar with Josh McDaniels‘ offense, which could give him the upper hand on some wide receivers trying to at least make the practice squad. Wilkerson was most recently under contract with the Indianapolis Colts but was recently released.
Johnson was signed by the Raiders this offseason so he never got the chance to play in a game for a team.
Other WRs on Roster Bubble
Since the Raiders cut Johnson, they haven’t added any more bodies to the wide receiver but it is the deepest position on the team. Las Vegas currently has 11 wide receivers under contract. When the season starts, they will likely only keep five or six. There will be a lot of players to cut.
Adams isn’t going anywhere and neither is Meyers. Renfrow has been the subject of trade rumors but his contract makes it difficult to move him. He’ll likely be around as will third-round pick Tre Tucker. That means there are only one to two spots that aren’t already taken. Chris Lacy, Cam Sims, Wilkerson and DJ Turner are likely fighting for spots on the practice squad right now unless they have really strong training camps. Keelan Cole and DeAndre Carter are the early favorites to earn the last two openings but Phillip Dorsett should also be the mix.
Tre Tucker Named Hidden Gem of Draft Class
Perhaps the most confusing pick the Raiders made in the draft was drafting Tucker in the third round. Wide receiver was not a need, and many pundits had Tucker going much later. On a team that really needs impact players, it’s hard to see a scenario where the wide receiver sees a lot of action as a rookie. However, former NFL cornerback and analyst Bucky Books believes that Tucker is the “hidden gem” of the Raiders’ draft class, via Raiders.com:
The Raiders’ need for a speed receiver could make Tre Tucker an impact player from Day 1. The Cincinnati product is a blur between the lines with explosive straight-line speed, stop-start quickness and running skills. Tucker’s ability to turn short passes into big plays makes him a perfect fit in an offense with an assortment of “catch-and-run” concepts. As a 5-foot-9, 187-pound playmaker with a dynamic game, Tucker could start his career as a WR4 before evolving into a consistent contributor as a WR3 with starting potential in “11” personnel sets.