NFL Training Camps: Oakland Raiders Rookie Report

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Gareon Conley
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Gareon Conley /

The Oakland Raiders are hoping that several of their 2017 NFL Draft picks will help them get closer to a Super Bowl title.

Last season came to a disappointing end for the Oakland Raiders after Derek Carr’s injury. This was a team that had a legitimate shot at making a Super Bowl appearance. Much of last year’s roster returns with a few additions aimed to help them take the next step.

Oakland’s 1st round pick, Gareon Conley, comes with some controversy but is also ready to contribute. The Raiders go good news when Conley’s legal troubles were dismissed with no chargers being filed.

More from With the First Pick

He can now focus on earning major playing time in the Raiders secondary. Conley is an excellent athlete who also excels in the mental aspect of the game. He would’ve come off the board before the Raiders pick had he not had those legal troubles.

However, Conley is dealing with an injury that has set him back during training camp. He may need to be eased into the lineup as the season progresses.

Obi Melifonwu is another rookie defensive back who could see action this year. However, he’s likely to get most of this time on special teams and sub-packages. Most of Melifonwu’s experience is at safety which is currently manned by Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson.

The one Oakland rookie who has turned heads at training camp is Eddie Vanderdoes. In fact, he has a good chance to see significant playing time early in the season. Vanderdoes is a powerful defensive tackle who excels at stuffing the run.

Oakland doesn’t have a good depth at defensive tackle where Vanderdoes is competing for playing time.

The Raiders also maybe forced to give offensive tackle David Sharpe snaps in the preseason. He’s one of a few offensive linemen trying to fill in for holdout Donald Penn. Sharpe features good size, but doesn’t have the foot speed to protect the edge.

Oakland really needs to get a long-term deal worked out with Penn before the regular season starts.