What Type of Wide Receivers Will the Oakland Raiders Target This Offseason?

It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders need offensive playmakers. The expectation is that the Raiders will target a wide receiver in free agency or the draft to give quarterback Derek Carr a fighting chance in 2015.

What kind of receivers fit general manager Reggie McKenzie and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s profile? If we can identify the type of wide receivers they like, it might help narrow down some of the draft picks and free agents the Raiders may target.

There is a natural link to pending free-agent wide receiver Randall Cobb because McKenzie helped draft him as director of player personnel with the Green Bay Packers in 2011. Cobb fit McKenzie’s profile as a draft pick and has been productive at the NFL level.

Musgrave also has a type of wide receiver he likes. No one got more out of Percy Harvin, but it’s worth noting that the Minnesota Vikings also traded him away prior to Musgrave’s final year as offensive coordinator in Minnesota.

The Vikings then signed Greg Jennings, who is another player McKenzie helped draft in Green Bay.

Wherever there is overlap between what McKenzie and Musgrave like in a prospect, there is potential for consensus. We have relatively small sample sizes—and in many cases incomplete data—but where there is enough data, we can glean something.


The Prototype

To figure out what McKenzie really likes in a wide receiver, we are going to have to reverse engineer his drafts with the Raiders and Packers.

He wasn’t the final decision-maker in Green Bay, but the Packers had success with finding wide receivers, so it’s unlikely an area where McKenzie felt the need to infuse his own philosophy.

Over the last several years, McKenzie has drafted Brice Butler, Juron Criner, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Greg Jennings, Terrence Murphy and David Clow...

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