So far the Raiders 2017 draft class has been a dud. Mostly that has been because their top two picks have not seen the field. The team will get one back this week and hopes to have both of them on the field in the coming weeks.
Second round safety Obi Melifonwu has been on injured reserve this season. He returned to practice last week on schedule and head coach Jack Del Rio says he’s on schedule to make his Raiders debut this Sunday when the team faces the Miami Dolphins.
“Yeah. I think as long as the week goes the way we anticipate it going, I think we’ll get him up this week,” Del Rio said Monday.
Top pick Gareon Conley appeared in two games early in the season and has been out every week since then with a shin injury he suffered back in June. His injury situation has been a mystery. Recently Del Rio said it was a matter of pain for Conley and usually can offer no indication of when he could return. Today, he gave his first target for Conley to be back in the lineup.
“I don’t think it’ll happen this week,” said Del Rio. “The idea is to get through the bye and take a look and see where we are at that point.”
The fact that Del Rio is so certain Conley will still be out this week is not a good sign. And saying they will revisit it two weeks from now is far from any kind of certainty he’ll return at that time.
With David Amerson and Karl Joseph both missing last week with an injury and Sean Smith having fallen out of favor, the secondary is ailing and in much need of reinforcements. Their top draft picks is really the only place they could look to as potential upgrades and depth.
It’s past time to start getting some kind of production from this draft class. That starts Sunday night in Miami.