Raiders Shopping List: The top options in free agency at slot receiver

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio watches from the sideline during the NFL AFC Wild Card game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans on January 7, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Seth Roberts was a big find for Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. But after he continued to have drops at crucial times in 2016, inconsistent is about the best word you can use to describe him. One day he’s making a game winning catch in traffic and running it in for at touchdown, the next he’s dropping an easy catch for an important first down. I think it’s probably more likely that if the Raiders look for another slot receiver option, it will be through the draft.

But because free agency is right around the corner, let’s take a look at the top slot receiver options for the Raiders.

Terrelle Pryor

OK, so this one is cheating a bit, but what’s the fun of the off-season if you can’t dream a little? Pryor is technically set to become a free agent this off-season and boy would be make a nice addition, just not as a slot receiver.  BUT imagine bringing him in then moving Amari Cooper to the slot. Pryor can stretch the field on the outside while Cooper tortures slot corners over the middle. That would make for one dynamic receiving corps.

Kamar Aiken

After what seemed like a breakout year in 2015, Kamar Aiken took a step backwards in 2016. Much of his lowered production was due to receiving significantly less targets this past season. Because the Ravens do not appear to see him as a primary target for Joe Flacco, he’s likely to look elsewhere. While not a pure slot guy, he did play slot in Baltimore when Steve Smith was hurt. While his numbers in 2016 weren’t better than Seth Roberts, he had more than twice as many yards in 2015 than Roberts ever has. He would need to come at the right price because he’s not a clearly big upgrade over Roberts.

Robert Woods

This might be the most likely of the options to be signed (if the Raiders sign a slot receiver at all). Woods is seen largely as a guy who did not live up to his second round draft status. But if you look past that, you will see a pretty good slot receiver. He has solid hands and only had two drops last year, compared to the five for Roberts. But perhaps most importantly for Oakland, his draft status and some injury issues means he will not command a big salary on the free agent market. If Woods is a guy you’re looking at as a top two on your team, that’s not good. But as a slot receiver and third option? He sure looks like an upgrade over Seth Roberts. While Roberts scored more touchdowns last year, he had three more targets than Woods but put up 216 fewer yards.

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james arcellana

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