NAPA — Andre Holmes is the biggest wide receiver on the Oakland Raiders roster.
He’s playing like it, too.
The 6-foot-4-inch, 210-pound has been quarterback Matt Schaub’s most consistent downfield threat since the team began practicing, following up on a surprising 2013 campaign in which Holmes led the club in yards per catch after missing the first five games.
That has elevated the former undrafted free agent atop Oakland’s first depth chart released by the team.
While that holds about as much significance as scoring touchdowns in practice, it’s a definite sign of the Raiders believe that Holmes can solve the question of who will be the team’s number one receiver in 2014.
“A long strider, has a big burst up the field, can separate and then go up and get the football ... exactly what you want from a receiver,” Schaub said Monday. “I’m excited to see what he can do in game action. He’s a big, big threat for us.”
Schaub knows the benefits of having a big, physical receivers named Andre. Oakland’s first-year quarterback spent the past seven seasons throwing to 6-3, 220-pound Andre Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection.
Holmes clearly isn’t on Johnson’s level. He has just 27 career receptions and has scored only one touchdown in 17 games.
Still, for an Oakland team that doesn’t have a clear-cut No. 1 wideout Holmes is currently the closest thing to it.
He certainly looked the part so far, an encouraging sign for an offense that tied for 24th in passing last season.