Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 30, 2007
A look at all those receivers

Question: The Raiders took another wide receiver, Johnnie Lee Higgins. Is he going to be special teams player and kick returner? Could you summarize the Raiders receivers and how you think they will be used? Mike Williams looks to be a project.

- Dave Simmen, Portland, Ore.

Answer: Higgins, the Raiders second third-round choice, will be expected to help a return game that hasn't produced a kick or punt return for a touchdown since Dec. 28, 2003.

As for the rest of the group, Jerry Porter finally gets his chance to be the No. 1 option. Curry will be a reliable second or third option. Mike Williams is a project, but if Kiffin can get him going he will be a steal.

Other returners from last season are Alvis Whitted, Will Buchanon, Doug Gabriel, Carlos Francis and Johnnie Morant. The Raiders also drafted Johnathan Holland in the seventh round yesterday.

Of this group, Gabriel and Whitted have the most experience, but could be gone by the end of training camp if the Raiders opt to go with youth (which is also cheaper). Francis is fast, but has his contributions have been limited because of injuries his first three seasons.

Buchanon has the advantage of having played for Kiffin at USC. Gabriel was traded before last season when he was a starter for the Raiders to New England. The Patriots cut him and the Raiders brought him back. Morant has physical talents similar to Williams, but played sparingly his first two seasons before seeing more actions toward the end of last season because of injures.

Those are the Raiders receivers now that Randy Moss is gone.

- Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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