The Raiders will go into the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week looking for an impact wide receiver. And, with the No. 4 pick in the draft, many analysts have projected they could be in line to land one in Alabama standout Amari Cooper.
But Oakland will get another big addition in 2015 without using a draft pick or diving into free agency: Rod Streater will be back.
Streater, who had a breakout season in 2013 when he led the team with 60 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns, played just three games in 2014 because of a foot injury. The second-year player had been counted on to make a huge contribution, but his absence left rookie quarterback Derek Carr without a No. 1 wideout.
Streater, a good blend of size and speed, had just nine catches for 84 yards.
If Streater comes back fully fit, however, Carr suddenly could have a good corps of wide receivers with the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Streater making a nice target, and Cooper (or another rookie) along with veteran James Jones, who led the Raiders in receptions in 2014 with 73.
Streater, an undrafted free agent from Temple in 2012, fractured his foot in Week 3 against the New England Patriots. Originally, it was believed he could return before the end of the season. But that never happened, with Streater finally declared out for the remainder of the season in early December.
In 2013, Streater’s production rose dramatically once Matt McGloin took over the quarterbacking duties from Terrelle Pryor. For a while, it appeared Streater might even break the 1,000-yard receiving mark.
McGloin praised him often for his ability to make plays.
“He’s going to be in the right spot all the time,” McGloin told reporters. “He knows what he’s doing. He shows up every day, works hard, goes about his business. I can trust him. I can throw him opportunity balls and there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll come down with it.”
Streater is a restricted free agent, but the Raiders are expected to offer him a new deal. As a restricted free agent, Oakland can match an offer from any other team. And, if Streater were to leave, the Raiders would receive draft picks as compensation.
So, it’s more than likely that Streater will be back on the field for Oakland in 2015 and be part of a much-improved wide receiver corps.