A lot of attention this offseason has been given to the Las Vegas Raiders’ offseason acquisition of Davante Adams. The team needed an upgrade at the wide receiver spot and they went to the top of the market, as Adams was not only the best wide receiver but arguably the best player available this offseason.
Adams, according to a lot of people, is the best player at his position in the league. He has dominated the last few seasons catching passes from Aaron Rodgers and will now be catching passes from his collegiate quarterback at Fresno State, Derek Carr.
Carr has spoken highly of Adams and is certainly excited about being teammates with him again. After having a career season in 2021, Carr could take his game to another level in 2022 with Adams in the fold. Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller will provide Carr with three excellent targets to get the ball to.
However, it will take more than those three for this offense to find success throughout the season. While they receive all of the attention, Carr has praised the rest of the players making up the depth chart at the wide receiver position.
One of those players is free agent signing Keelan Cole. Cole played a part-time role with the New York Jets last season, catching 28 passes for 449 yards after recording a career-high 55 receptions in 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Keelan has really impressed me with his ability to turn in the air to make catches,” Carr said Saturday after practice. “His ability on the sideline, he’s really good. There is never a doubt if he’s in or he’s out. Some guys just have a natural feel of where they are at on the field. He runs really crisp routes.”
Another free agent signing the Raiders made was Demarcus Robinson. He is someone that the Raiders are familiar with as he spent the first six seasons of his career with the rival Kansas City Chiefs. He should help replace the speed dynamic the team lost when Henry Ruggs III was released following a fatal drunk driving accident last season.
“Robinson has flashed that talent, that speed that we have seen happen against us for a few years,” Carr said. “He’s flashed those same things here, that ability to be someone that can stretch the field and also run the intermediate to short stuff and make something happen afterwards.”
Mack Hollins spent last season with the Miami Dolphins and is lauded for the work ethic that he brings to the table. He holds teammates accountable, something that will sometimes rub people the wrong way. But, he is adored by teammates despite the high standard that he holds them to when it comes to workouts.
“Mack, he’s someone that does everything,” Carr said. “He’s a big body. Obviously, he’s made a great career playing some special teams and being able to play all the positions at receiver. I try to tell guys all the time, and Mack is an indication of that, try to learn it all. If you can jump in at this spot or you can jump in here, it just helps your ability to play for a long time. And Mack reminds me of that, he learns it all.”
“He’s one of the first guys I’ve seen where maybe he’s not the first target right now, but people gravitate towards him because of his work ethic. They want to sit around him and be around him.”
Having a diverse, deep set of pass catchers is key to a team finding success on offense. It should come as no surprise that the Raiders made so many changes to the skill positions as Josh McDaniels is now head coach of the team and will be implementing different schemes than the team has run in recent seasons.
Cole, Robinson and Hollins will fill in different roles behind Adams and Renfrow, giving the Raiders a multi-faceted attack that will be difficult for opponents to slow down every week.