Breaking down the Raiders' receivers

The Oakland Raiders have an interesting situation brewing at receiver.

They are finally all healthy.

Oakland’s receiving crew has been a work in progress for years. Thanks to some nice mid-round draft picks, Oakland now has a potentially strong group of receivers. Now that Louis Murphy is back from a sports hernia that kept him out nearly two months, it is a crowded group. Let’s look at Oakland’s receivers, in alphabetical order, and examine what we should expect this season:

Jacoby Ford

Known for: He was a steal in the fourth round in 2010. He is an explosive playmaker.

2011 stats: Three catches, 22 yards, no touchdowns.

Comment: He missed time with a hamstring injury. Now that Ford is healthy, I think he has a chance to be in the top of the rotation.

How I rank him: 2

Derek Hagan

Known for: He is a journeyman with a limited reputation in the NFL.

2011 stats: 10 catches, 101 yards, no touchdowns.

Comment: He is steady and has good hands. He moves the chains. He’s good injury insurance.

How I rank him: 6

Darrius Heyward-Bey

Known for: The No. 7 overall pick in 2009 has dealt with hands issues and he hasn’t lived up to the Raiders’ expectations.

2011 stats: Nine catches, 164 yards, no touchdowns.

Comment: He is coming off his best NFL game. If he continues to work on his hands, he has a chance to help this team. I think others should be higher in the rotation because of their consistency.

How I rank him: 5

Denarius Moore

Known for: The steal of the 2011 draft. The fifth-round pick has been stellar.

2011 stats: 12 catches, 199 yards, two touchdowns.

Comment: Oakland should make Moore a definite starter and watch him shine. He has the highest ceiling of this group.

How I rank him: 1

Louis Murphy

Known for: The fourth-round pick in 2009 was the Raiders’ steadiest receiver in his first two NFL seasons.

2011 stats: He hasn’t played.

Comment: He is a steady, polished player. There is always room for a player like Murphy.

How I rank him: 3

Chaz Schilens

Known for: He is a talented player, who can’t stay healthy.

2011 stats: Five catches, 40 yards, no touchdowns.

Comment: Schilens has been bypassed by other players. He has a chance to be a top player, but he must stay healthy.

How I rank him: 4

Conclusion: There is a ton of potential here. Oakland coach Hue Jackson will be challenged to find the right rotation. In the end, it’s a nice problem for Jackson to have.