Juron Criner Shines At Oakland Raiders OTAs
Rookie wide receiver Juron Criner stole the show at OTAs for the Oakland Raiders this week, displaying the all-around skills that allowed him to post 157 catches and 22 touchdowns over his final two seasons at the University of Arizona.
Teammate Denarius Moore looked similarly good during training camp in 2011, and eventually became an excellent deep threat for the Raiders as last season went on.
Oakland selected Criner in the fifth round of April’s draft (168th overall), as poor timed speed (in the 4.60 second range) in the 40-yard dash at both the NFL Combine and Arizona’s Pro Day contributed to his fall down draft boards. But what he does bring to the table in terms of size (6’3″, 224 lbs.), route running, hands and catch radius make him different from any other wide receiver the Raiders currently have on their roster and those attributes may give him an advantage in the competition for roster spots and playing time.
Time will tell if Criner has what it takes to earn a roster spot in Oakland, but the new coaching staff will have a hard time letting him go if he continues to perform well as offseason work continues on through preseason games in August. At minimum, he may be able to get the attention of other teams if Oakland decides he is not worthy of a longer look at some point this summer.