August 4, 2011; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Mason Brodine (front) performs a drill during training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raider's Camp Battles: Darwinism at it's Finest

August 1, 2012; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Kaelin Burnett (57) and linebacker Chad Kilgore (47) participate in drills during training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The draft is over and now fans must ride out the Summer without football. A little news here, a little news there, but other than another Rolando McClain arrest, the off-season is as boring as (fill in the blank) crime show on CBS.

So speculation ensues and what better to speculate on than the many intriguing camp battles residing in Oakland. Shall we start at quarterback?

QB - In my opinion this is the biggest camp battle in the NFL. Forget that GM Reggie McKenzie has claimed Matt Flynn as the presumable starter. This could go any way.

What started off as Terrell Pryor vs. Matt Flynn, now includes the once sought after draft prospect, Tyler Wilson. The former Razorback (say hello Darren McFadden) has been compared to the likes of Brett Favre. His accuracy and general throwing ability is hampered by his poor foot work and tendency to throw before setting up. Something that can quickly be changed in the NFL. If Matt Flynn and Terrell Pryor under perform, this kid will definitely see the field.

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Matt Flynn 2 – Tyler Wilson 3 – Terrell Pryor (also sees the field in wildcat role)

OT – The Raiders offensive line isn’t great. However, they aren’t horrible either. Jared Veldheer and Stefen Wisnewski are two bright spots that stick out. Khalif Barnes and Mike Brisiel stick out as well, but for all the wrong reasons.

Enter Menelik Watson. The raw offensive tackle has a very high ceiling to say the least. In his rookie season he could indeed replace either Brisiel or Barnes. In fact it may even be his job to lose.

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Menelik Watson 2 – Khalif Barnes

RB – No question here Darren McFadden starts. Of course if he is healthy (fingers crossed). But what about the backup running back. Rashad Jennings rushed close to 1000 yards backing up Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville. Can he produce that well for the Raiders?

Nov 4, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs past Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) during the first half of the game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Not if Latavius Murray can produce more. The late round draft pick also has a great amount of upside. Standing taller than most backs with a hard nose yet deadly burst of speed running style, he reminds scouts of Darren McFadden. Big shoes to fill kid. Hey if it doesn’t work out, one can always become a corner in Oakland just ask Taiwan Jones.

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Darren McFadden 2 – Rashad Jennings 3 – Latavius Murray

WR – Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford are without doubt Oakland’s premier pass catchers. This battle resides in the number three spot (not necessarily slot receiver, but the third primary target of Oakland’s plays)

Jan 26, 2013; Mobile, AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad wide receiver Conner Vernon of Duke (82) prior to kickoff of a game against the Senior Bowl north squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rod Streater was an undrafted free agent out of Temple and took advantage of his chance. He will compete with Duke’s Conner Vernon, another undrafted free agent. Vernon possesses quickness and an ability to work out of the slot. This kid could be the next Streater.

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Denarius Moore 2 – Jacoby Ford 3 – Conner Vernon 4 – Rod Streater 5 -Sam McGuffie 6 – Juron Criner

Oakland could go any way with their tight ends. This is really a battle of low quality players. If David Ausberry improves his run blocking the job is his (hit the weight room). The same goes for rookie Mychal Rivera who displays amazing hands. If these two guys can’t get physical, rookie Nick Kasa will. (reminds me of Brandon Meyers)

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Nick Kasa 2 – David Ausberry 3 – Mychal Rivera (look for Rivera to get his opportunities)

NCB – D.J. Hayden and Mike Jenkins most likely will line up at one and two for the Raider’s corner backs. The nickel back however could play out any way.

Tracy Porter made appearances in a Pro-Bowl due to his skill at nickel back (struggled starting in Denver). This should be his job to lose. However, Joselio Hanson did a very nice job last season stepping in for a depleted roster. If he works his tail off in camp he might reap the benefits. Also don’t forget about Mr. Taiwan Jones.

Predicted Outcome:

1 – Tracy Porter 2 – Joselio Hanson 3 – Taiwan Jones

Well those are the most heated battles going into camp. Until than Raider Nation has plenty to be hopeful for. I for one am not giving up on this season and jumping on the 2014 campaign bandwagon.

Give me some feedback on who you guys think will turn heads in camp!


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  • DondiRaider

    I find it interesting how everyone was saying the same thing last offseason about the TE position….nothing proven & a weakness…..Myers only led the team in catches…..TE will not be a problem….competition (like last year) will bring out the best in someone!

  • Pridenpoise

    There’s no way Streeter is the Number 4 receiver. And If they used a 1st round pick on DJ Hayden you can bet he will be starting.

  • Pridenpoise

    The only reason Myers led the Team in catches, was because our receivers were dropping everything that was thrown to them, or were injured. And it’s my opinion the only reason he is not still a Raider is we were not willing to overpay for one good season he had. Lets see what he does this year

  • Artistry & Observ___

    Does anyone remember Ford catching a pass? …. How did he get to be our number 2 receiver? …… Prey for the Raiders to sign a decent free agent here.

  • Blackbloodsilverguts

    Yea I see the wide receiver battle slightly different. If streater tightens up his routes I see him being 1 Moore 2 ford/ mcguffie working the slot. We will see how long it takes for jacoby to find himself on the IR

  • Joel Hernandez

    The WRs will be interesting for sure, lots of Practice squad reserves but there is talent there, Sessions in my underdog but he was a top target for Kaepernick at Nevada.

    LBs is stacked Kaelin Burrnet is my underdog, his brother Kevin came over to Oakland to help him develop and they will be brothers of destruction.

    I know how people are about Pryor, but he hired 3 QB coaches to train him a lot this offseason, so the kid is working to get better. When he gets his shot, he will make the most of it and will push Flynn early on. If he loses out to Wilson it is over! Pryor = Black Horse

    Special Teams will be locked and loaded, and if anyone ends up on IR, there will be plenty of talent left on the Reserve Squad. I wonder how the final roster will look and Free agency is not over yet still some talent.


    What I can see happening. ( ) = battle here!

    QB: Flynn, (Pryor, Wilson)
    RB: DMC, Jennings, Murray, Stewart, Williams
    FB: Reece
    WR: Moore, Streater, Ford, (Criner, Sessions, McGuffie, Butler, Vernon)
    TE: (Kasa, Ausberry, Gordon, Rivera)

    OT: Veldheer (Watson, Barnes, Barron, Wetzel)
    OG: Brisial (Bergstorm, Nix, Gallingto, Mady,)
    C: Wisniewski, Parsons

    LE: Houston, Crawford
    RE: (Carter, Bass, Hunter)
    DT: (Sims, Walker, McGee, Bilukidi)

    LB: Roach, Burris, Kevin Burrett, (Maiava, Kaelin Burrnet, Moore)
    LS: Jon Condo

    CB: Jenkins, Hayden, Porter (Adams, Hanson, Ross)
    S: Branch, (Young, Johnson, Smith)

    K: Janikowski
    P: (King or Cowan)

  • Raider_n_Germany

    Jacoby has made highlight reel catches for the Raiders and is a certified game-breaker! Problem is, he is 5’9 and light . . . also, Streater does run good routes and has as much speed as Conner, plus he saw the field last year (some experience is good experience). I’m just hoping Moore returns to form. Don’t sleep on Butler from USC, he lost out to Marquis Lee and Robert Woods . . . so would most receivers!

  • Eugene Yamamoto

    Good article. This is my second read. I think Streater will be the slot. We will miss Carson P. this season. I think what was lost on many fans was the limited amount of time Carson had to pass with the pourous ZBS scheme and poor play calling of Greg Knapp. We were competitive when Carson had more play calling allowance in a no-huddle offense. Not one of our current qbs has the experience or ability of Palmer to dissect a defense and run the no huddle all the way down the field. Hopefully this will be mitigated by a better run game, power blocking scheme and better play calling from OC G. Olsen. My guess though is that we will see T. Pryor playing at qb once they see the holes in the offensive line, i.e. we will need an elusive qb who can make things happen with his feet to extend plays and add a dimension that creates problems for the defense so they can’t just bull rush or blitz. If the O-line were solid, Flynn or Wilson would be fine. I am an avid die hard Raider fan but this year, without Carson, and with a questionable D-line and an almost entirely new cast of players I am not drinking the Kool-aid; we may compete more because of the number of prove it players we now have, but we lack the overall talent to compete with the elite teams. I love my Raiders and will, by having no choice, believe that we will rise from the ashes within the next few years based on the Reggie Plan, but unless they sign some solid free agents (e.g. Dwight Freeney, Richard Seymore – at a more realistic number, and a number 1 type vwteran wideout), this will not be our year to truly be competitive.

  • Jay Haskins

    Correction to predicted QB outcome. 1.Pryor 2.Flynn 3.Wilson PS.McGloin

  • Jay Haskins

    I’m an SC fan. Butler didn’t actually lose his spot to Woods. He got hurt and wasn’t given the opportunity to get his spot back. But before Brice got hurt he was Barkley’s main go to guy. Trust me, this dude can play. He was big time coming out of high school. Wait until you see him play in some games