General manager Reggie McKenzie and the Oakland Raiders have used the 2017 offseason to deliberately address the needs of the roster. While headlines off the field were centered around the Las Vegas relocation, the front office has done a steady job of adding pieces to help the roster.
One of the key offensive offseason signings centered around the addition of wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, another solid deep threat to pair alongside Amari Cooper. With Michael Crabtree sliding into the slot, Cooper would be another threat for Derek Carr and his strong accuracy.
Many NFL aficionados expected Patterson to slide into the No. 3 spot on the depth chart, as a viable outside threat. However, sources indicate that Patterson has thus far been beaten out by Seth Roberts as the No. 3 receiver, via Ted Nguyen of Just Blog Baby:
Source with Raiders said "it's safe to say Roberts will be our #3". Will take a very very good training camp or preseason to supplant him.
— Ted Nguyen (@RaidersAnalysis) May 31, 2017
Seth Roberts showed a strong set of hands and was a clutch receiver throughout the 2016 season. He hauled in 38 receptions for 397 yards and five touchdowns last season, including his 41-yard game-winning catch in overtime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Roberts and Carr have established a strong connection since he joined the team in 2015. Roberts was often a beneficiary of faulty defensive schemes against the Raiders, which were often focused on limiting the production of Cooper and Michael Crabtree.
Patterson rebounded nicely during the 2016 season, hauling in 52 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns. The 26-year-old is also capable of taking over the kick and punt returns during special team plays, with perhaps a unique role in specially designed plays. The four-year player signed a two-year, $8.5 million deal with the Raiders this offseason, including $2.5 million signing bonus and $5 million guaranteed.
McKenzie and the Raiders addressed the defensive side with free agent signings like Jelani Jenkins, while also improving the secondary through the 2017 NFL Draft. On the flip side, the trade with Marshawn Lynch overshadowed the strong offensive signings. The Raiders also signed tight end Jared Cook to replace Mychal Rivera, to pair alongside Clive Walford.