Expectations high for Criner and Moore

NAPA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders’ receivers Denarius Moore and Juron Criner started their careers in similar situations.

Both are facing huge expectations, despite being recent low-round draft picks. Moore was a fifth-round pick last year. Criner was drafted in the same round this year.

Moore was a superstar in training camp last season and went from a player with meager expectations to a key contributor. After catching 38 passes last season, Moore is expected to make a big impact as a starter this season.

Criner was a hero during the OTA season this spring. He made one spectacular catch after another. If Criner can make the type of plays consistently in a uniform as he did in shorts, he will have a chance to make noise this season. A lot is expected of him in training camp and in the preseason.

Both players said they are not having trouble dealing with heightened expectations.

“I’m starting new,” Criner said. “I haven’t done anything. OTAs are over. This is different. Yesterday doesn’t mean much. I just have to continue to look ahead.”

Moore knows a lot is expected from him, but he is staying grounded.

“I just have to get better,” Moore said. “Last year helped me, but I still have to prove myself.”