Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 15, 2014
It was under two weeks ago that the Raiders selected eight new players via the draft and the team will get to see those eight on the field for the first time Friday for the Raiders rookie minicamp.
Headlining the event will most certainly be fifth-overall selection linebacker Khalil Mack. Mack, who already signed his contract on Thursday, is expected to be an explosive leader for the Raiders defense for years to come.
Friday’s session will give us a brief glimpse as to how the Raiders may intend to use him and where to line him up. We’ll also get to see how his coverage skill matches up with receivers entering the NFL level.
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr will get the opportunity of receiving a lot of snaps with veteran Matt Schaub not attending. This will give a view into how Carr commands himself with a new playbook and to see how well he can throw the deep ball.
We will also get to see a couple of new linemen in Justin Ellis, Gabe Jackson and Shelby Harris. Friday’s session will give us a good indication in how each of these lineman play and what Raider Nation can expect of them in the trenches. It will be interesting to see where they put Jackson in the rookie minicamp and if that continues throughout the offseason. Harris, who didn’t play football last year, will have eyes on him after being drafted in the seventh round. He’ll need to prove he’s in football shape and can help bring defensive pressure as a defensive end on the team.
The Raiders also selected some secondary help in safety Jonathan Dowling and cornerbacks T.J. Carrie and Keith McGill. Though they’ll be going up against other rookies and players there on a tryout basis, we’ll get a glimpse of their skills and see what they can bring to the NFL level. They’re not only expected to help in the secondary, but also provide further ammo on special teams. We’ll see where some of them line up in special teams drills at points in the offseason.
In addition to their eight new draft selections, undrafted free agent signings and players on a workout basis will also be in attendance.
After not drafting a wide receiver, it will be interesting to see what undrafted free agent wide receivers may stand out. The Raiders could use another explosive wide receiver and it could come in the form of one of their undrafted free agents, just as Rod Streater did a couple of years ago.
Tomorrow is just another step in a long offseason workout program, with the full team (relatively) coming together for the first Organized Team Activity on May 27. While the rookie minicamp will give us a good look at the rookies, the OTA’s will give us a better understanding of the entire team.
Practice is open to the media starting at 1:50 p.m. until 4:15 p.m. Be sure to follow along with Silver & Black Report as we provide you full coverage, along with interviews following the session.