Holding On: Raiders WR Roberts Will Fight for Playing Time in 2017

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Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts (10) catches the ball and runs it in for game winning overtime touchdown at Raymond James Stadium. Oakland Raiders defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2017 season for Raiders WR Seth Roberts there are as many possibilities as there are potential pitfalls. In the previous 2 seasons Roberts amassed 5 touchdowns each year. His propensity for highlight plays was mirrored by his drops last year. At a 6.5% drop rate on 77 targets in 2016 per SportingCharts.com, Roberts struggled in 2016. He must bounce back in a big way in 2017.  Right now, he is potentially is the third WR in Oakland’s offense, having to fight for playing time with newly signed Cordarrelle Patterson.


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Depending on how Oakland executes the offense, he may have to compete more with Amari Cooper than Patterson for playing time in the slot. Patterson is quick but lacks the route running ability to play there like Cooper does. Along with the fact that it is a contract year for Roberts, it would benefit both the Raiders and Roberts to have him work on that facet . Todd Downing replaced Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator. As a result, Downing said quarterback Derek Carr enjoys more freedom at the line to make decisions. Also, this would help Roberts see the field more, having a rapport with Carr and knowing his tendencies more than Patterson while also having played in the system longer could very well help Roberts case.

Roberts proves  clutch for the Raiders. For example, last season’s OT game winner against Tampa Bay.  Coming up from being an UDFA to starting on a rising team is no small feat. Although, due to the offseason additions, Roberts needs to curb his drops. Yet, he still needs to make the highlight plays he did in 2016. For example:

 

In training camp is where we will see what role he carves out for himself. If he can keep progressing and keep Patterson at arm’s length with steady catches,  he could potentially earn himself a new contract. Plus, with more knowledge of the playbook and teaming with Carr multiple years, Roberts enjoys a slight advantage. This year is perhaps his biggest hurdle yet. The end result is a nice payday when all is said and done.

 

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