NAPA, Calif. -- The receiver position has been a problem area for the Oakland Raiders the past several years.
In 2014, the Raiders did not have a 700-yard receiver. There were 62 receivers in the NFL who eclipsed that mark. Oakland hasn't had a receiver reach 1,000 yards since Randy Moss did so 10 years ago. Oakland tried to upgrade at the position in the offseason by drafting Amari Cooper out of Alabama with the No. 4 overall pick and by signing Michael Crabtree in free agency. They are expected to be the starters.
Crabtree was one of the stars of the Raiders' first day of training camp Friday. He caught several difficult passes from second-year starter Derek Carr, who is bound to benefit from better receivers. Crabtree had the camp buzzing Friday.
"He stood out today and made some nice catches," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. "Mike's a proven player. I don't think we have to worry much about Mike."
Carr said Crabtree "finishes friendly" in his routes, meaning he is always there for the ball.
Another receiver who stood out was undrafted rookie Josh Harper, who played at Fresno State with Carr. He showed sure hands and good ability with the ball in his hands.
The quarterback is thrilled to be reunited with Harper.
"Awesome. It's so cool to have him back," Carr said of Harper. "He's doing such a great job for a young guy. Obviously, he went undrafted and that shocked all of us. I couldn't believe it. As soon as that happened, I was like, ‘Man, we need him here.'"
The Raiders are deep at receiver, but if Harper has a good camp he has a solid chance to make the 53-man roster. However the receiver lineup shakes out, it appears the Raiders will be in better shape than in the recent past.