By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 12:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Rod Streater and Andre Holmes have played so well of late there’s no need for the Raiders to lament the one that got away.
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, a contender for the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year, played in the Raiders’ backyard at Cal.
Although in need of a playmaking wide receiver, the Raiders passed on Allen three times in the NFL draft in favor of cornerback DJ Hayden, cornerback Menelik Watson and linebacker Sio Moore.
Ten spots after Moore was drafted, the Chargers selected Allen at No. 76 overall. With 63 receptions for 931 yards and seven touchdowns, Allen is a front-runner for the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award and one of the steals of the draft.
Considered a first-round talent, Allen saw his draft stock plummet due to 40-yard dash time in the 4.7 range while coming off a knee injury. At the NFL scouting combine, there were rumors of a failed drug test.
It turned out Allen had a test red flagged for having too much water in his system, a sign of attempting flush or mask a potential positive test. He took another test and passed it.
“Obviously he had the injury coming out but I knew he was a talented player and he’s shown that with the way he’s playing,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
Keenan Allen said had no contact with the Raiders heading into the draft, which isn’t unusual _ the Chargers hadn’t contacted him either. Seven wide receivers had their names called before Allen.
“It was definitely hard watching, especially seeing guys picked before me,’’ Allen said by conference call. “It’s unfortunate, not only for me but the teams that passed on me. I’ve just got to make them pay for it.’’
If the Raiders feel any remorse, it has been lessened by the play of two receivers who weren’t drafted at all.
Streater was undrafted out of Temple in 2012 and signed with the Raiders as a free agent. Holmes also wasn’t drafted out of Division II Hillsdale in 2010, hooking on with the Dallas Cowboys before being released. He also was cut by New England before signing with the Raiders.
With 54 receptions for 846 yards and three touchdowns, Streater is 154 yards shy of becoming the first Raiders receiver to gain 1,000 yards since Randy Moss in 2005.
Holmes has 17 receptions for 322 yards, all within the past month. With Streater at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and Holmes at 6-4, 210, the Raiders have two targets capable of making jump-and-catch plays and a quarterback in Matt McGloin who believes in giving them a chance to go up and get it.
Since McGloin became the starter, Streater has 25 receptions for 423 yards and is averaging 16.9 yards per reception. Holmes, averaging 18.9 yards per catch, has made all his catches with McGloin as the starter.
With Denarius Moore (39 receptions, 615 yards) returning against the Chiefs after missing three games with a shoulder injury, the Raiders have three wide outs with the capability of making plays downfield.
All three go about their business without flash, in contrast to the diva stereotype associated with the position.
“Usually there are some characters in that group, but we have a good group of guys,’’ Allen said. “They come in, they work hard, they really don’t say a whole lot. They just try to do their job the best they can. From early in the year to now, I think that position group has been one of the bright spots and of the more improved spots on our team.’’
– Defensvie tackle Vance Walker was not on the practice field, indicating he has not sufficiently recovered from his concussion and will be ruled out Friday afternoon. Running back Darren McFadden (ankle) and safety Charles Woodson (ribs) were on the field and expected to play.