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Rookie Criner creates a buzz at Raiders OTAs

Juron Criner Pic Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders had a depleted draft, and their salary cap situation prevented many big free-agent splashes. The organization could use a dose of good news, and it got some from fifth-round rookie receiver Juron Criner Tuesday at OTAs.

According to Steve Corkran of the Oakland Tribune, Criner made “at least four head-turning plays during a 20-minute span” during Tuesday’s practice. Criner snatched one ball away from double coverage, snagged a tipped pass amid heavy traffic, reached for an errant throw, and caught a bomb over his shoulder deep down the sideline.

Corkran compared Criner’s Tuesday performance to the show put on by Denarius Moore, a fifth-round pick last year, during 2011 offseason practices.

It should be noted that these are (allegedly) non-contact workouts in shorts and t-shirts. But Criner clearly made a pretty nice first impression.

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65 Responses to “Rookie Criner creates a buzz at Raiders OTAs”
  1. jhart615 says: May 15, 2012 9:25 PM

    Wow…sounds like he’s a lock for the Pro Bowl!

    /sarcasm

    Who cares? It’s OTA’s..

  2. alyopal69 says: May 15, 2012 9:26 PM

    Primero

  3. alyopal69 says: May 15, 2012 9:27 PM

    Man it going to be a good year.

  4. alyopal69 says: May 15, 2012 9:30 PM

    Diamond in the rough. New call sign
    “SHINER”

  5. pantherpro says: May 15, 2012 9:32 PM

    Whatever! Who’s going go get him the ball. Pryor? Another 6-10 boring year with blackout city!

  6. jmclarkent says: May 15, 2012 9:34 PM

    I would love for him to develop into the big possession receiver that fragile Chaz never was.

  7. Patriot42 says: May 15, 2012 9:35 PM

    Well, I guess he will be the greatest receiver to every play in the NFL.

  8. racerx1225 says: May 15, 2012 9:35 PM

    He is our Plaxico. He is the Red Zone possession WR we have lacked for he last few years. We own the West. Peyton who?

  9. fxws says: May 15, 2012 9:36 PM

    The Raiders seem way better at finding good receivers in the 5th round than the 1st round.

  10. riverhorsey says: May 15, 2012 9:38 PM

    Criner sounds like the next Jerry Rice.

  11. raiderman81 says: May 15, 2012 9:40 PM

    Big Al Davis would have never drafted this guy becuse he was too slow. Its exciting to see what kind of football team we will become …… a foot ball team with football smarts. Lets go reggie!!!

  12. jaimelh02 says: May 15, 2012 9:42 PM

    Did the Raiders just find another diamond in the rough?

  13. tom62215 says: May 15, 2012 9:45 PM

    This is just awesome news.

  14. klandon52 says: May 15, 2012 9:49 PM

    I hope this kid pans out, didnt get to finish is career at ‘Zona the way he wanted

  15. villa41 says: May 15, 2012 9:49 PM

    Uhhh….the good news Silva is that the Raiders have quietly built the most solid roster in the AFC West – notwithstanding depleted draft picks and free agents. Tool.

    Oh yeah, add just signed solid blocking fullback Own Schmitt to the roster too. He’ll open more than a few holes for McFadden.

  16. boswivel says: May 15, 2012 9:52 PM

    “Criner snatched one ball away from double coverage, snagged a tipped pass amid heavy traffic, reached for an errant throw, and caught a bomb over his shoulder deep down the sideline.”

  17. boswivel says: May 15, 2012 9:53 PM

    Cont’d… thought maybe they signed McNabb as a camp arm until I got to the part about the deep pass.

  18. squared80 says: May 15, 2012 9:54 PM

    Hell, I could make an impression like that in a non-contact workout in shorts and t-shirt. Give me a break.

  19. raider17 says: May 15, 2012 10:02 PM

    Fred Biletnikoff wasn’t the fastest receiver, but Al drafted him.
    Al made his errors but who doesn’t?
    I don’t care who’s drafting. There’s a short line for
    wideouts that run 4.6 40s. Hopefully we have another
    Denarius Moore!

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  20. justwinbaby29 says: May 15, 2012 10:03 PM

    We heard the same thing about Denarius Moore last year and – he proved to be the real deal. Criner sounds like a football player but not a track star. Good thing we’re playing football and not running track and field.

    Who have the Raiders lost that is a crushing blow? If McFadden stays healthy not Bush. Wimbley is the only guy I guess. Routt was an overrated corner.

    Reggie McKenzie has kept pretty much anyone he’s wanted to despite the cap problems.

    Go Raiders!!!!!!!

  21. wethog66 says: May 15, 2012 10:03 PM

    Last time I checked NFL football wasn’t played in T-shirts and shorts.

  22. spinmovr says: May 15, 2012 10:05 PM

    Criner’s Youtube reels have him looking like an NFL caliber starter. Dude catches everything in traffic and has red zone skills. We’ve got plenty of burners to make a guy like this super dangerous with his route running.

    Promising prospect. But yeah it is May. Need to see what he’ll do against Cason, Routt and whoever the hell plays CB in Denver.

  23. cliffordc05 says: May 15, 2012 10:12 PM

    I watched Criner play against Washington and was very impressed. I really wanted the Seahawks to pick him up and believe that Oakland made a great selection.

  24. failcopter says: May 15, 2012 10:13 PM

    He ran a 4.6 40.

    Al Davis was rolling over in his grave.

  25. mikeholmgrenwearsstretchpants says: May 15, 2012 10:14 PM

    Criner……Griner. She ain’t fooling me! The Raiders just drafted Britney Griner out of Baylor. Typical Raider freak of nature pick.

  26. Ted Skroback says: May 15, 2012 10:15 PM

    Guy would have been a mid 2nd round pick if it wasn’t for having stomach problems that held him back. Locates the ball unbelievably well lacks get away speed but is in the mold of a cotchery type player just makes catches

  27. silver81black says: May 15, 2012 10:19 PM

    Nice…keep it up Criner…i like what Reggie’s doing #RaiderNation

  28. elrock7 says: May 15, 2012 10:23 PM

    wow u Raider fans will grasp at anything!! Carso palmer! Ha, going to be last place at 5-11 book it!

  29. shaunypoo says: May 15, 2012 10:33 PM

    Errant passes, heavy traffic, throws into double coverage. Yep, sounds like Carson should be able to use him.

  30. nje22 says: May 15, 2012 10:33 PM

    Burp

  31. lostsok says: May 15, 2012 10:39 PM

    DHB gets a DUI…this kid turns head.

    Don’t be shocked, Raider fans, if there are some MAJOR changes to the Oakland roster this summer. McKenzie/Allen clearly wanted football players with some athleticism, not athletes with some football ability.

  32. jomochiefsfan84 says: May 15, 2012 10:39 PM

    There is nothing to talk about in football news & this is proof of that it’s OTA’s their not even playing full contact & it doesn’t matter how good your offense is when you have a defense that sucks balls! Just ask the SB losing NE Patriots!

  33. dfwbillsfan14221 says: May 15, 2012 10:41 PM

    wethog66 says:
    May 15, 2012 10:03 PM
    Last time I checked NFL football wasn’t played in T-shirts and shorts.

     1 1 

    Roger is working on that. Check back soon.

  34. ronlm says: May 15, 2012 10:41 PM

    Denarius Moore lit it up at last year’s OTA’s also… and he has become the Raiders most electrifying receiver. Yes, it’s just OTA’s… but those covering the Raiders for years, like Corkran, can tell when a player has talent and skills which are exceptional. Like they could tell with Moore last season. They also didn’t refrain from mentioning all the drops that DHB had in his first couple of camps.

    Criner fits the mold of the type of receiver the Raiders desperately need… a big reliable possession guy who Palmer can rely heavily on to move the chains and be a big target in the red zone. Time will tell if he can become that guy… but those in the know can tell he is showing the abilities required.

  35. raiderapologist says: May 15, 2012 10:45 PM

    squared80 says: May 15, 2012 9:54 PM

    Hell, I could make an impression like that in a non-contact workout in shorts and t-shirt. Give me a break.

    No you couldn’t. If you could, you would have been drafted. Or at least got a tryout. And once there, you would have had to make an impression in order to stand out from all the other athletes trying to make an impression. You didn’t do that. You just typed on a keyboard. Saying you can do something isn’t actually doing something. Give us a break.

  36. nflofficeadmin says: May 15, 2012 10:49 PM

    Criner is a big man – he should do even better with the pads on.

  37. raiderapologist says: May 15, 2012 10:54 PM

    jomochiefsfan84 says: May 15, 2012 10:39 PM

    There is nothing to talk about in football news & this is proof of that it’s OTA’s their not even playing full contact & it doesn’t matter how good your offense is when you have a defense that sucks balls! Just ask the SB losing NE Patriots!

    The Chiefs haven’t been to a Super Bowl in 42 years. Belichick wasn’t even fetching coffee and breaking down game film then.

  38. jwreck says: May 15, 2012 11:21 PM

    I don’t want to rain on any parades here. There is little to no doubt Criner will be a beast. However this “diamond in the rough” stuff is simply not accurate.

    It seemed like receiver draft boards across the NFL were shuffled by last minute by a gang of piss drunk baboons. There were no steals at the receiver position this year, just a bunch of guys with bargain basement grades take in earlier rounds while better receivers tumbled into the later rounds. The 49ers kicked it off by taking AJ Jenkins, a wide-out with a third round grade, at the end of the first. Ryan Broyles, a fifth/sixth round prospect due to injury, went to Detroit in the second round. Devier Posey and TJ Yates, seventh round players at best, were snatched up in the third round. Travis Benjamin, who was kicked off the team at Miami, and considered undraftable, was taken in the fourth round.

    Yes, Criner was a fifth round pick, but he had a second round grade. He is no more a “diamond in the rough” than guys like Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle: first round receivers who fell deep into the second. Criner will be a very good player and I hope he has a great career, but he does not deserve, and should not receive, the hype of a hidden draft gem in the style of Brady, Colston, Welker, Shannon Sharpe, or Jason Taylor.

    Yes I know Welker was undrafted. It’s late, and I’m too tired to make lists of NFL superstars picked late in the draft. And yes, I know more than one of the players I called out for being picked too high will turn out to be a total stud, and I’ll look like an idiot, but hey, so will Kiper, McShay, and Mayock.

  39. dans761 says: May 15, 2012 11:26 PM

    To bad he plays in Oakland. Where football careers are never born!

  40. laserrocketarm12 says: May 15, 2012 11:58 PM

    If this guy is the real deal (considering Oaklands insane track record of drafting stud mid round WRs, I’m not betting against it) they’ll have one of the nastiest receiving corps in the NFL.

    Let DMac get hurt, Carson and co. will still do just fine as long as they spread the ball to all these beasts. DHB, Ford, Moore, Criner, Murphy….look out.

  41. raiderrob21 says: May 16, 2012 12:02 AM

    I agree. I really dont put much into OTAs but as stated, the same buzz was created last year when Denarius Moore went Off. He is the talk of camp, Palmer and McFadden are on record praising him. I just hope he can make close to the same impact Denarius did last year. Lets see if it keeps up through training camp.

    RAIDER NATION!!!!

  42. slightlyhyphy says: May 16, 2012 12:26 AM

    pantherpro says: May 15, 2012 9:32 PM

    Whatever! Who’s going go get him the ball. Pryor? Another 6-10 boring year with blackout city!

    _________

    Strange. Because the Raiders sold out every game last season.

  43. mario011 says: May 16, 2012 1:06 AM

    Too bad our defense sucks. We are pretty decent in offense, but as we saw vs Detroit and SD at the end of the year, we cannot stop anybody.

  44. sd5547 says: May 16, 2012 1:08 AM

    University of Arizona Alumni watched many games this guy just gets open and has great hands and body control. A smaller version of ABoldin. This is coming from a Chargers fan will be a starter in a few years.

  45. lilcuzzy says: May 16, 2012 1:25 AM

    Theres a chance we may have found our Hakeem Nicks / Anquan Boldin here, Zona had a good offense, this kid Criner is coming into an ideal situation, defense will have to respect our run game, we have one of the better o-lines in the league statistically, Palmer can still throw it, and he’s going to be our lone possession WR , I predict he will continue to impress

  46. ronlm says: May 16, 2012 1:42 AM

    Our defense sucked because of an inept defensive coordinator running an antiquated system. Dennis Allen took a worse defense in Denver, and turned them into a unit that helped create Tebow’s fame. Other than the names on the jerseys, the 2012 Raiders defense will look and perform nothing like those of the recent past. It may take a few games to get them gelling… but I have high hopes for this defense.

  47. ch8878 says: May 16, 2012 1:45 AM

    pantherpro says: May 15, 2012 9:32 PM

    Whatever! Who’s going go get him the ball. Pryor? Another 6-10 boring year with blackout city!

    —————————————————–

    Looks like your talking about the Panthers not the Raiders the Raiders sold out every game.

    The truth is the Raiders just needed to win the last game of the year to make the playoffs last year with the #30 ranked defense and being the most penalized team in history, so if them 2 things improve they’ll be in the playoffs.

  48. crise40g says: May 16, 2012 2:13 AM

    Raider’s stories always have the most comments. Love the Raider Haters! Fear makes you say stupid things.

  49. randallflagg52 says: May 16, 2012 3:24 AM

    BFD. It’s Oakland…

  50. mullman7675 says: May 16, 2012 3:41 AM

    The RAIDERS have a solid young WR core that is beginning to gel. Moore, Ford, DHB, Criner and Murphy(maybe) look to be on the roster with McGee making a push for the #6. Having an entire offseason to work with Palmer is only going to make it better.

  51. tatum064 says: May 16, 2012 4:08 AM

    pantherpro says:
    May 15, 2012 9:32 PM
    Whatever! Who’s going go get him the ball. Pryor? Another 6-10 boring year with blackout city!
    =================================
    uh we had back to back 8-8 records, retard.

    I believe we put 52 points on the Panthers last time they visited the Coliseum…dont worry your smack down is coming, too Carolina.

    Hate on….

  52. tatum064 says: May 16, 2012 4:11 AM

    dfwbillsfan14221 says:
    May 15, 2012 10:41 PM
    wethog66 says:
    May 15, 2012 10:03 PM
    Last time I checked NFL football wasn’t played in T-shirts and shorts.

    1 1

    Roger is working on that. Check back soon.

    =================

    Last time I checked, NFL fans didnt run their hateful mouths over OTA posts.

  53. wethog66 says: May 16, 2012 7:05 AM

    Making a comment about T-shirt and shorts is hateful? Raider fans sure are overly defensive. Wonder why…..

  54. slickster35 says: May 16, 2012 7:11 AM

    Theres nothing funnier than seeing comments like “we’re quietly building the best roster in the division”.

    The fade have a terrible roster. The defense is completely devoid of talent, and the O-line is weak at best. Your QB is almost done, and your so called RB is a bag of marshmallows. You do have a few decent receivers, but the old man will throw as many to the opposition as he does to them.

    I honestly have no idea how the faiders will stay out of the basement, but as usual, the fanbase is the most delusional in the league.

    Every years pre-season champs!!! And then reality hits…

  55. shea801 says: May 16, 2012 7:28 AM

    ronlm nailed it earlier. Read the raider beat writers long enough and you know they don’t sugar coat anything when it comes to players performing during practice. They’ve been grounded by years of mediocrity and a front office that says every pick is the next best thing. So they’ve developed one of the best reads on a players actual ability as it translates from the practice field to the playing field.

    Samples of their seer like ability: Jerry McDonald and Steve Corkran both nailed it last year with Moore; Jerry McDonald called Jamarcus Russell’s inability from the get go based solely on footwork and awareness at practices, Louis Murphy being a more productive receiver than DHB, Jared Veldheer being one of the leagues best OT’s as a second rounder, Lamar Houston being a steal as a second rounder DT, and Kevin Boss being a non factor last year (he wasn’t performing better than any other TE in practice either).

    Yes, it’s just OTA’s, but the Raiders beat writers have always been good at recognizing who will perform and who won’t based on practices and OTA’s for quite a while. Most Raider fans already knew this ;)

  56. spellingcops says: May 16, 2012 8:42 AM

    Only in Chokeland are they impressed when a receiver actually catches the ball.

  57. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: May 16, 2012 9:10 AM

    @slickster35
    Take out the dig about the QB, and all you did was describe the Chargers. Raiders fans have been dying for 9 to 10 wins for the last 10 years in a row. Hardly the preseason Super Bowl champs the Chokers are always labeled. The offensive line is the strongest in the division and the defense has 2 pro bowl DTs, an under rated potential Pro Bowl safety, a stable of young DEs with a lot of upside, and a MLB who has as much potential as any player in the league.

    I don’t know how much you know about football, but it clearly isn’t much. You did do a wonderful job of making yourself look and sound like an uneducated bandwagon fan though.

  58. geo1113 says: May 16, 2012 10:28 AM

    squared80 says:
    May 15, 2012 9:54 PM
    Hell, I could make an impression like that in a non-contact workout in shorts and t-shirt. Give me a break.
    ———————-

    If that’s the case, why aren’t you!

  59. Stupid Raiders Fan says: May 16, 2012 10:31 AM

    When you guys post news of an unheard of rookie can you also tell us what college they attended. to find out I have to click through the story which takes a lot less time than it took me to write this note.

  60. mojodoa says: May 16, 2012 11:15 AM

    So far so good.

  61. raiderapologist says: May 16, 2012 11:16 AM

    slickster35 says: May 16, 2012 7:11 AM

    Every years pre-season champs!!! And then reality hits…

    Sounds like what the Queefs fans are saying. They haven’t been to a Super Bowl since Nixon was president and gas was 36 cents, and haven’t won a playoff game in 18 years, but they’re running their mouths like they’ve already won the division. No delusion there.

  62. efriedo says: May 16, 2012 11:28 AM

    shaunypoo says: May 15, 2012 10:33 PM

    Errant passes, heavy traffic, throws into double coverage. Yep, sounds like Carson should be able to use him.

    *********************************

    Too bad three of those errant passes you speak of came from Terrell Pryor (try clicking on the link in the story and reading a little bit).

    Also, Who caught those “errant passes”. OH, the receiver caught them. That’s called a complete pass. The one pass Palmer threw to him was a 50 yard bomb and was caught by Criner for a touchdown.

    Some people just don’t have a clue, and shaunypoo is one of those people!

  63. jaykubs says: May 16, 2012 2:08 PM

    As a University of Arizona alum & football fan (yeah, I know, tough sledding), I can vouch for this guy’s skill. I was surprised he fell this far, and I’m convinced he’ll be a fluid and above average NFL receiver. He and Foles were lethal together. If we had even the slight resemblance of a defense, they would have won us more games. Good luck to him.

  64. radrntn says: May 16, 2012 6:46 PM

    not really a surprise…he had over 2500 yards at u of a

  65. murfdeezy says: May 16, 2012 8:51 PM

    wethog66 says: May 15, 2012 10:03 PM

    Last time I checked NFL football wasn’t played in T-shirts and shorts.

    ….True…at least for now. If they make any more rules preventing the defense from actually playing defense, or fine everyone on the damn field for every solid hit this season…they may as well play in T shirts and shorts.

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