Denarius Moore entered this Raiders training camp on the bubble.
Now that the exhibition season is over, it appears the wide receiver will get a fourth season in silver and black. And rookie quarterback Derek Carr deserves an assist.
Moore, who needed to show Raiders coaches he can be a more consistent playmaker, had a big night Thursday in the Oakland’s 41-31 victory over the Seahawks, catching three passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns, including 36-yard strike from Carr in the first quarter.
Over four preseason games Moore had nine catches for 140 yards – a 15.6 average – for two scores and had catches of 40 and 36 yards – exactly the type of big plays the Raiders want from him. He also was more reliable and made some tough catches in traffic, including an 11-yarder Thursday night on a ball thrown behind him while being guarded by Richard Sherman, one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks.
Plus, he showed great chemistry with Carr, and Carr might just have won the starting job for the regular-season opener vs. the Jets on Sept. 7.
With starters James Jones and Rod Streater given the night off, Moore put on an impressive show that should earn him a chance to stick on the roster when the Raiders have to cut to the 53-man limit on Saturday.
Said head coach Dennis Allen: “Denarius made a couple of really nice catches.”
With Carr’s better arm and accuracy, the Raiders’ wide receivers have been much better playmakers. Moore now seems to have surpassed Andre Holmes and Greg Little and could figure as the team’s third or fourth wideout.
As Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group noted after Thursday’s game, a more consistent Moore – who’s had to fight to stay on the roster this summer – could emerge as one of the team’s top playmakers. Especially with a more accurate passer.
“The Raiders still lack a bona fide No. 1 receiver,” he wrote. “Moore is the one who has the skill set to be that guy, just as he showed Thursday.”