One week removed from the 2009 NFL draft, the Raiders find themselves preparing for their first mandatory mini-camp to be held in Alameda, for three days starting this Friday the 8th of May.
The mini-camps will allow the coaching staff to evaluate the status of returning veteran injured players as well as veteran free-agent signings and of course, the new batch of just drafted rookies.
The Raiders have seemingly filled many of their holes with their offseason activity thus far and will use these mini-camps and OTA's to determine if they may still need to acquire any further veteran free agents.
Oakland was also active in signing nine undrafted free agents, all of which will be participants in next weeks mini-camp and will need to impress quickly if they hope to have any chance to stay on the squad.
UDFA's generally have a slim chance of making the final NFL roster, however, there are many stories out there of the ones that have made it, including for the Raiders: Tommy Kelly, Ricky Brown and Chris Carr, all of which have made the 53-man roster. It's early to know yet if any of the nine will make the final 53 or merely be camp filler. But based on what we have already seen and read about these nine, some seem to be more worthy than just being warm bodies for the veteran to hit in camp.
Also for Oakland, last year's UDFA crop yielded Louis Rankin, Derrick Gray, Greyson Gunheim, Darrell Strong and Marcel Reece, all of whom will be competing this year for a roster spot. Of the nine that Oakland has signed so far, the Raiders certainly hope that some will at least help to provide depth to the roster, the lack of which has been a major weakness to the Raiders of recent years.
This year's take from the Raiders include:
Desmond Bryant ... DL ... Harvard
Frantz Joseph ... MLB ... Florida Atlantic
David Nixon ... OLB ... Brigham Young
Nick Miller ... WR ... Southern Utah
Shawn Bayes ... WR ... Kent State
Chris O'Neill ... TE ... Boise State
Jonathan Compas ... OG ... UC-Davis
Jerome Boyd ... LB ... Oregon (now will try at safety)
Chris Johnson ... WR ... Tennessee State
As often is the case, many of the UDFA's will be cut, but some might be stashed on injured reserve, while others might make the practice squad.
This Sunday's poll will ask which of the above UDFA's, if any, do you think will make the 53- man roster?