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Oakland Raiders

Seth Roberts an underrated part of Raiders championship formula

December 4, 2016 - Oakland, CA, U.S - NFL 2016. Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts (10) throws the ball up in the air after scoring a 5-yard TD reception from Derek Carr in the 4th quarter. (Photo by Paul Kuroda/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Paul Kuroda/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Seth Roberts is one of those players no one ever talks about. He’ll make a clutch catch from time to time to move the chains or win a game, but he mostly plays in the shadows of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in the Oakland Raiders’ offense.

Signing a two-year extension won’t resonate with casual viewers of the Raiders. From a distance, Roberts is just a body to fill the depth chart behind two exceptionally talented receivers, but his teammates know he’s much more than that.

“Seth is super clutch,” Oakland quarterback Derek Carr told reporters after Roberts made the game-winning catch in an overtime game in 2016 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We always talk about this, but that guy catches game-winners all the time and it’s crazy. I told him he went into NFL streak game-breaker mode on that last touchdown. He just didn’t want to get tackled. Seth is a tireless worker. He is always off to the side when we are not in at offense catching balls… When you got a guy that works hard like that, I am happy when they make plays.”

Hard work is ingrained in Roberts’ DNA because it’s the only thing he has known since he entered the league in 2015. He has never been the most physically gifted receiver, but he has made up for it by putting in the time and effort. What else would be expected from an undrafted receiver out of West Alabama?

As a rookie, Roberts caught 32 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns. That number dipped in 2016 due to playing through a double hernia. He hauled in 38 receptions for 397 yards and five touchdowns. Those are decent numbers for a third receiving option with only two years of NFL experience under his belt.

The fact that the Raiders still offered him an extension after signing Cordarrelle Patterson in the offseason is a testament to his importance to the team. Cooper and Crabtree’s Batman and Robin act won’t survive an NFL season without a dependable backup, and Roberts has certainly earned the opportunity to be the third wheel.

He is only 26 years old and entering the prime of his career. Now that he’s healthy, he’ll have a chance to build on his strong rookie campaign from two seasons ago. With all of the defensive attention focused on Cooper and Crabtree, he can be the one piece that breaks the season open for the offense.

There has never been a better time for him to step out of the shadows.

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