Raiders general manager says Antonio Brown’s departure left a void, addresses wide receiver position

The Las Vegas Raiders finished their last season in Oakland with a 7-9 record, and it wasn’t exactly the campaign they were hoping for. The Raiders missed the postseason for the third year in a row, they lost their last game in Oakland Coliseum and questions still remain at several different positions on roster.

The Raiders tried to upgrade their wide receivers last offseason — signing Tyrell Williams, Antonio Brown and drafting Hunter Renfrow — but their efforts didn’t translate to the win column. Brown was released before the regular season after a very public falling out surrounding his frozen feet and a helmet, and Williams and Renfrow both dealt with injuries. 

During a Tuesday press conference at the NFL combine, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock acknowledged that Brown left a hole at wideout, and that the team will again try to address the issue this offseason.

“I think every team self-evaluates and if you look at our offense. Again, we were No. 11 in yards and we’re a pretty good offensive team,” Mayock said, via “I think everybody standing here knows we need help at wideout and we need to be better. The Antonio Brown thing left a void that we weren’t really able to fill so we need to get better there.”

The Raiders’ leading receiver was actually tight end Darren Waller, who had a breakout season. In 16 games he caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. Williams was second with 42 receptions for 651 yards and six touchdowns, and Renfrow was third with 49 catches for 605 yards and four touchdowns. It’s worth mentioning that Renfrow recorded two 100-yard games and two touchdowns in the last two games of the season after missing three games due to injury. 

Las Vegas currently has two first-round picks: No. 12 overall and No. 19 overall. This draft class features a couple of talented wideouts such as former Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy and former Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb, who are both projected to be first-round picks. CBS NFL Draft experts Ryan Wilson, Pete Prisco and Will Brinson believe that the Raiders will draft the first receiver off the board come April with the No. 12 overall pick.

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