For the first time since the end of the 2012 season, organized practice was occurring at the Raiders' Alameda facility. It was the rookies on the field today for their minicamp where we got our first looks at what the new class of Raiders.
There were some 60 players on the field for the camp practice with their 10 draft picks, 14 undrafted free agent signings, several first year players, and an undisclosed amount of players in tryouts for the team. It was enough to hold a good camp.
In attendance were Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis who spent a good portion of practice chatting it up with former Raider, Jerry Porter, who spent the first eight years of his nine year career with the Raiders. Many of those years his attitude caused problems, including being firmly entrenched in Art Shell's doghouse the entire 2006 season. His last season in the NFL was 2008.
Latavius Murray - He's big, has great hands, and runs with authority. Read more about his day and what he had to say about it here.
Brice Butler - Sixth round pick out of San Diego State put on a clinic for the defensive backs trying to cover him. He made several fantastic catches on the day. His first nice catch in team drills came on an underthrown ball which he caught off of a tip from the defender. He was Tyler Wilson's favorite target all day and there was no mystery as to why. He was routinely getting open and making catches when the ball was thrown his way.
Tyler Wilson - There is no question as to why he was considered by some to be one of the top quarterbacks in this draft. He threw tight spirals with great velocity and accuracy all day long. Granted, this is with no real rush in his face and therefore plenty of time to watch plays develop and go through reads, but that isn't what we're talking about here. We're talking about his first step and this first step was a big leap forward.
DJ Hayden - As would be expected, he was far and away the best defensive back on the field. He was shadowing receivers all day and if he gave up a catch, I didn't see it. There were two particular plays he defended nicely. On one throw, the receiver made a double move and broke up the sideline and looked to be open. But, Hayden turned just in time to leap out and smack the ball down for an incompletion. Another time, he was so far in the receiver's hip pocket, he got to the spot before the receiver did and nearly picked it off.
Conner Vernon - While Butler was stretching the field, Vernon was having his way underneath. He was masterful as the slot receiver in this offense. He looked smooth and polished in individual drills and didn't miss a beat in the team drills. He looks to be everything Raiders fans hoped he would be coming in as the ACC all-time career receiving leader and is officially on watch to be the next UDFA gem for the Raiders.
-- I would like to have linemen on here but in non-contact drills in shorts, it is near impossible to judge how well they played.
-- The Raiders didn't disclose the names of the players who were trying out for the team. We should find out Monday which players the team signs from this group. They have four open roster spots and some 30 players trying out for the team.
-- Immediately following practice and interviews, long time Chief Executive Amy Trask dropped the bomb announcing she had resigned. Read more about that here.
-- There is one more day of rookie minicamp (Sunday), then the next time the team will take the field will be for their first OTA on May 20.