Draft outlook: Wide receiver

This is one story in a series of position outlooks as they pertain to the Oakland Raiders and the 2005 NFL draft. Today, we look at wide receiver:

What the Raiders have: The offseason began with a lot of uncertainty at this position. Would the Oakland Raiders resign Jerry Porter? Will Ronald Curry be sufficiently recovered from an Achilles tendon injury that ended his breakout season? The answers are yes and hopefully.

The Raiders resigned Porter despite his stated desire to test the free agent market. Oakland hopes that Curry can fully recover. If so, the Raiders would have a deadly receiving threesome with trade acquisition Randy Moss, Porter and Curry.

Doug Gabriel started strong last season but tapered off as the year progress. The Raiders feel they have two prospects from last year's draft in Carlos Francis and Johnnie Morant. Francis, however, sustained a season-ending injury.

What the Raiders might do: This position is far less of a need now but possibly should not go totally ignored.

The Raiders certainly know that Moss and Porter can be a potent pair. Curry's full recovery, however, is somewhat unclear.

Even if Curry fully recovers, receiver is a need that should not be totally overlooked. Gabriel can be a decent returner. Francis has very intriguing speed but a season-ending injury did not give the Raiders much of a chance to look at him seriously. Morant has potential but we all know what that word means.

With other needs being more pressing, the Raiders can probably get away with waiting until Day Two to take a receiver if they go in that direction.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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