2018 Raiders: 5 players who need a strong training camp

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Oakland Raiders
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – NOVEMBER 21: The Oakland Raiders take the field prior to their game against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca on November 21, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) /

Obi Melifonwu

Out of everyone on the team that needs a strong showing in training camp, Obi Melifonwu is the most critical. It’s been noted that the coaches have seen very little of Melifonwu thanks to his injuries. All the scouting has been done in the training room which doesn’t mean anything.

He couldn’t do much in OTAs since he was still ailing. Melifonwu was finally able to be more hands on when mandatory minicamp arrived. It’s a good sign that his recovery hasn’t hit a snag.

It’s also a good sign that the coaching staff isn’t giving up on him. It shows that they believe in his talent. He just needs to get healthy so he can finally show it. That is why training camp is crucial for Melifonwu. A strong showing will allow him to build momentum going into preseason which will be his next test after training camp.

Melifonwu’s absence has allowed his competition to gain traction. Fellow safety Erik Harris is growing on head coach Jon Gruden. Harris made the most out of his reps in OTAs and minicamp. His case to make the final 53 man roster is growing stronger. Melifonwu will essentially be starting out 10 steps backward come training camp.

The coaches are still evaluating him and his competition has proved worthy.

The first step for Obi Melifonwu is to get fully healthy. Typically, unproven players who are limited in training camp don’t make the final cut. Why give up a roster spot to a player who’s a question mark when others have already proven themselves?

Obi’s recovery needs to continue to trend upwards with no speed bumps, then he’ll have a good shot at impressing the coaches.