Draft outlook: Tight end

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 Oakland Raiders released Roland Williams, who has signed resigned with the St. Louis Rams. The Raiders signed Williams for a second tour of duty last offseason with the hope that his blocking would bolster the ground game. Williams, however, was never a significant factor.

The Raiders still have Doug Jolley, Teyo Johnson and Courtney Anderson. Jolley has plateaued since his rookie season in 2002. He also hasn't progressed as a blocker to the Raiders' liking. In fact, some people have wondered if Jolley is a receiver trapped in a tight end's body.

Teyo Johnson spent the first half of the season in the coaching staff's doghouse because they felt his work ethic was lacking. Johnson, who is entering his third season, dropped to fourth on the depth chart and was inactive for the first seven games. Johnson, however, responded with a solid second half and showed the promise that the coaches anticipated.

Courtney Anderson, who was a seventh round pick last year, showed ample promise before a knee injury curtailed his season.

What the Raiders might do: Oakland has used the draft at this position in each of the last three years – Jolley in 2002, Johnson in 2003, and Anderson in 2004. Therefore, it's strongly unlikely that the Raiders would draft at this position.

However, the question begs – is there room for all three? Jolley had a decent year in 2004 but his rookie year was his high-water mark. Johnson could be a solid starter but is, at worst, a good No. 2 man. Anderson might be the best of the three with his combination of size, speed and blocking.

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


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