During the three-day, seven-round NFL draft in April, wide receiver Rod Streater waited as 253 other names were called and all 32 teams passed on him multiple times.
What's that they say about the NFL draft being an inexact science?
The Raiders swooped in after the draft and signed Streater as a free agent, and in just two exhibition games the rookie from Temple already has 13 receptions, more than any other wide receiver or tight end in the league.
“Thirteen catches is good, but it's not compared to what I want to do,” Streater said. “I have to still continue to get better and correct the little things. I'm still making little mistakes here and there.”
Looking back, it's understandable why Streater was overlooked in the draft. As a senior, he caught only 19 passes at Temple, which employed a run-heavy offense. Then there's the fact that Streater didn't even become a wide receiver until his second junior college season at Alfred State in New York.
Streater played cornerback at Burlington Township (N.J.) High School and safety his first season at Alfred State, after redshirting one year.
“I was all defense,” Streater said. “I loved defense.”
After Streater's redshirt freshman season, however, Alfred State coach Mick Caba moved him to wide receiver.
“He felt like if he could move me to offense he could use me better because of my height and my speed, and also we didn't really have any receivers so he did that move,” said the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder Streater, who has 4.4 speed in the 40.
Caba deserves kudos for that decision, and the Raiders' scouting department and GM Reggie McKenzie deserve credit for pursuing Streater aggressively following the draft after taking Arizona WR Juron Criner in the fifth round.
“I had a bunch of teams call me, but I had Reggie McKenzie talk to me (and) offensive coordinator (Greg Knapp),” Streater said. “A lot of guys from high up in the organization called me, and they said they … felt like I could play here and contribute. … They did a lot of research, so I felt like it was legit. They really wanted me here.”
Streater made a strong impression during OTAs and minicamp, and he has been even better during training camp and exhibition games against Dallas and Arizona.
“Every day you look up and he's making a play down the field,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
Streater said he's striving for “consistency” in every practice and game.
“I don't want to be just the rookie minicamp star,” he said. “I want to continue to carry it on from minicamp to this camp and then into the preseason. I want to continue to show them that I can play.”
One of Streater's most impressive plays came after Arizona safety Kerry Rhodes intercepted a Carson Palmer pass early in the second quarter Friday night. Streater chased Rhodes down and tackled him at the Raiders' 5, holding him to a 60-yard return instead of a touchdown. The Cardinals settled for a field goal.
“The play that he made on running the guy down was outstanding,” Allen said. “It's exceptional. And that's something that everybody on the team needs to understand and needs to see, because that's the type of effort that we're going to need to win. That's what we're looking for.
“This is a guy that continues to do what he needs to do. He continues to work and he continues to play hard. I don't think it's any surprise that he's reaping some of the benefits of it because of the way he's going about doing his job.”
Streater said that once Rhodes intercepted Palmer's pass, he called on his defensive back skills.
“It comes back from those free safety days of running people down,” he said.
With wide receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford out with injuries, there's a chance Streater could make his first start Saturday night against Detroit.
“I'm competing for wherever I can play,” Streater said. “If it's starting, three wides, one wide, whatever it is, wherever they throw me at, special teams, I'm going to play hard and see what I can do.”
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLOAK.