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Raiders minicamp: 6 things to watch for, including rookie tight end Michael Mayer

Raiders’ mandatory minicamp starts this week

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
Michael Mayer
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders will hold their mandatory minicamp this week. Let’s look at six things to watch during the session:

The quarterbacks:

All eyes are going to be on Brian Hoyer, fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell and returner Chase Garbers. This is the Raiders’ quarterback group for the moment. Of course, starter, free-agent newcomer Jimmy Garoppolo, isn’t expect to begin practicing until training camp in July. Garoppolo had surgery on his foot after he signed with the Raiders and if he isn’t ready for the season, the Raiders can get out of his contract at no cost. The team expects him to be ready for camp, but, there are no guarantees. So, the work conducted by the healthy quarterbacks in the minicamp will be vital.

The running backs:

Star running back Josh Jacobs hasn’t been at the OTAs and he won’t be at the mandatory minicamp unless he signs his franchise tender. If he doesn’t show up, the Raiders could fine him. the key, of course, is Jacobs showing up for training camp. If he stays away this week, things could get interesting. But there’s still plenty of time. If Jacobs doesn’t participate this week that means more work for the other running backs on the roster, including 2022 fourth-round pick Zamir White.

The rookies:

First-round pick, edge rusher Tyree Wilson, is recovering from a foot injury and he won’t be participating this week. But the rest of the rookie class should be ready. Second-round pick, tight end Michael Mayer, has a chance to be the starter this season. It will be interesting to see how much time with the first team he gets this week.

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers
Hunter Renfrow
Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

Hunter Renfrow:

There has been media speculation that the Raiders could trade the slot wide receiver. Renfrow missed, at least, one of the OTA sessions. Will he be there this week? There’s reason to think the Raiders will keep him and there are reasons to think they could trade him. It will be fascinating to see his role this week.

Overall defense:

We all know this unit has struggled for years. They made some additions to the unit, but there are still question marks, including at linebacker and at cornerback. It’s vital to see where this group stands as it enters the second year of the Patrick Graham era.

The offensive line:

This unit is also a work in progress. There will be competition at right tackle and at a guard spot. This will be a story, at least, until Week 1 (it went well beyond that in 2022) and this week will start to tell the story.