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Checking in on five things to watch in Raiders training camp

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Four days through camp, let’s look at the five things to watch for.

#5: Who’s the number three wide receiver?

Thus far Seth Roberts is holding strong to that third wide receiver spot, getting the bulk of the first team reps in the slot. But Patterson has looked very good and has shown great chemistry with second team quarterback EJ Manuel.

#4: How will they use Eddie Vanderdoes?

This was a question because he had to miss all the offseason due to college graduation requirements. He is now practicing and with Mario Edwards Jr and Jihad Ward injured, Vanderdoes is seeing first team reps at that interior defensive end spot. That was what was expected, but if/when Edwards and/or Ward return, if the team likes what they see from Vanderdoes, they could find ways to get him work with the first team, perhaps at the nose.

#3: Middle linebacker opening

Rookie fifth round pick Marquel Lee has risen up the depth chart to run with the first team alongside Cory James at the inside linebacker positions. The two of them appear to have the inside track while Jelani Jenkins and Tyrell Adams see second team work. The Raiders like the idea of developing young unheralded linebackers like Lee and James.

#2: Who starts at right tackle?

As expected, Austin Howard was let go on the eve of training camp, which put Marshall Newhouse in line to start. Unfortunately, Donald Penn has been holding out of camp due to unhappiness with his contract, so Newhouse has been working in his place at left tackle while Vadal Alexander takes first team reps at right tackle.

#1: Where will the interior pass rush come from?

The hope was Mario Edwards would be healthy and Jihad Ward would rebound from an anemic rookie season. Neither have set foot on the training camp field as they are both injured. Denico Autry was the team’s best interior pass rusher last season with 3.0 sacks. Currently the hopes lie on him and rookie third round pick Eddie Vanderdoes.