Oakland Raiders’ Rod Streater (80) makes a catch and is tackled by the Cleveland Browns’ Buster Skrine (22) in the fourth quarter of their game
Oakland Raiders' Rod Streater (80) makes a catch and is tackled by the Cleveland Browns' Buster Skrine (22) in the fourth quarter of their game at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. Cleveland defeated Oakland 20-17. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

ALAMEDA -- In an offseason sure to be rife with change on the Raiders' roster, Rod Streater can rest easy.

In what has been a rough first year for rookie general manager Reggie McKenzie in terms of player acquisition, Streater has been a gem -- an undrafted free agent out of Temple who has developed into one of the Raiders' most reliable and promising receivers.

As a senior at Temple, Streater caught 19 passes in a run-oriented offense. He wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine and he figured he'd be taking his communications degree into the job world.

"I didn't think I'd be playing football any more," Streater said in a recent interview. "Honestly, I was looking for a job and just gave it a shot. I might as well work out. I like to work out. I had a good pro day and things just turned around from there. I'm just glad I gave it a shot."

Streater, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, is the Raiders' third-leading receiver with 28 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns. He has re-emerged over the last few games after seeing his snaps reduced in favor of fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner.

He is coming off his first career 100-yard receiving game, catching four passes for 100 yards in a 26-13 loss to Denver. In his previous game, against Cleveland, Streater had three catches for 96 yards. He has receptions of 64 yards and 58 yards in the last two games, the 64-yard play going for a touchdown against the Browns.

Streater hit the rookie wall around Thanksgiving, at which time he had played 15 games including the preseason -- exceeding the usual season at Temple.

"Besides bowl games, going into December, we were pretty much done after Thanksgiving," Streater said. "After that I got right back on track and got over it."

Streater found the Raiders' playbook daunting, but studied hard and made an early impression in camp. Quarterback Carson Palmer said he doesn't even think of Streater as a rookie anymore.

"Rod's doing great. I love what he brings to the team," Palmer said. "He's a rookie, but you would never know it. He's athletically gifted, he's fast, he catches the ball really well, and he does not think the game like a rookie. He thinks the game like a veteran."

Oakland Raiders’ Rod Streater (80) center, catches a pass for a first down as defenders Denver Broncos’ Rahim Moore (26) , left, and Tony
Oakland Raiders' Rod Streater (80) center, catches a pass for a first down as defenders Denver Broncos' Rahim Moore (26) , left, and Tony Carter (32) look on in the first quarter of their football game held at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2012. (Doug Duran/Staff)

Streater was one of the first phone calls the Raiders made following the draft. The Raiders were present at his pro day workout, but didn't' speak with him. However, McKenzie knew Streater's agent, D.S. Ping.

"He kind of talked to him a little bit about him and put the bug in his ear after the pro day," Streater said.

Streater's play over the last two games will get him even more action over the final three should he continue to produce.

"It's a little bit of a roller coaster ride and you have some ups and downs," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "Criner was getting a little more time and (Streater) was getting a little less time, and then he got the opportunity and made a few plays.

Oakland Raiders’ Rod Streater (80) celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter in the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland,
Oakland Raiders' Rod Streater (80) celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter in the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

"That's what it's all about. When you make plays, you play a lot more."

-- Strong safety Tyvon Branch, with ankle and neck issues, was the only Raider not present at practice Thursday during warm-ups and drills. Defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi, who missed the previous day due to an illness, was back on the field.

For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.