Draft outlook: Wide receiver

This is one story in a series looking ahead to the 2004 NFL draft and how it pertains to the Oakland Raiders. Today, here's a look at wide receiver:

What the Raiders have: Jerry Rice and Tim Brown, two receivers who are Canton, Ohio, bound when they officially call it a career. Both players have been at the top of many people's list in terms of Raider veterans who should retire. Their production slid last season but that had as much to do with injuries at quarterback, offensive line and Jerry Porter.

The only that has held Porter, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2002 before injuries caused him to miss six games last year, back in his four NFL seasons are injuries and the presence of two Hall-of-Famers-to-be. Oakland could use an eventual sidekick for Porter but Ronald Curry and Doug Gabriel did not do anything of note when given the opportunity and are mostly special teams players.

What the Raiders might do: There is a strong probability that Oakland will take Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald or USC's Mike Williams with the second overall pick. Both players have drawn comparisons to Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Well, at least from the neck down.

There is also a possibility that the Raiders could select Iowa Offensive tackle Robert Gallery with its second pick. Keep in mind, the draft is normally deeper with receivers than tackles you can fill out the lineup card with for a decade.

If the Raiders decide to trade out of the second pick and stockpile choices, it could pick receiver later on in the day. Ernest Wilford (Virginia Tech), Devard Darling (Washington State), and Derrick Hamilton (Clemson) could still be available late on Day One.


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