Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oakland Raiders Welcome Rookies and Un-drafted Free Agents

                        Oakland Raiders Welcome Rookies and Un-drafted Free Agents

Although no games have been played yet the 2014 - 2015 football season is definitely under way. Now that the draft is done fans are anxiously awaiting to see if their team made the pick that will put them over the top and/or bring them back to respectability.

Today marked the beginning of mimi-camp for the Oakland Raiders rookies and un-drafted free agents. After several years of disappointing draft picks it looks like this year the Raiders have drafted wisely and found players who can make immediate and positive contributions, like linebacker Khalil Mack, the Raiders’ 1st round pick, selected at number 5 overall. They’ve also prepared for the future with the 2nd round selection of quarterback Derek Carr, who many believe could develop into one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke about Carr saying, “Derek Carr was a guy we thought very highly of going into the draft. We thought he’s a first round talent as a quarterback. You never really know exactly how things are going to work out, but it worked out in our favor.” 

Another draft pick of note is offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, a 3rd round pick who could step in and provide immediate help. After the first day of mini camp Coach Allen noted “Gabe Jackson, I thought, did a nice job inside.”

Another name garnering a bit of attention at the rookie mini camp is George Atkinson III, the un-drafted running back from Notre Dame who is also the son of Raider legend George Atkinson. When asked about the running back, Coach Allen remarked “He’s a talented athlete, he’s got a lot of speed, and he has the ability to help us on special teams also. I think any time you have a chance to get a legacy, somebody who has Raider bloodlines... those guys understand what it means to be a Raider. We were pleased that we were able to bring him in here.”

The first day of practice didn’t reveal much, but Coach Allen was pleased overall, stating “...first day of practice I was impressed with the way the guys came out here to work. We’ve still got a couple of more days to work and we’re looking forward to it. I’m excited about the acquisitions that we made in the off season.”  “We’ll go back, we’ll look at the tape. We’ll evaluate it. We’re not making any quick decisions here; this is an evaluation process. We feel good about the guys we’ve acquired We feel like they’re gonna be able to come in and help us this year” 

---- Greg Bridges

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