Veteran players report to Raiders training camp Friday, with the first practice set for Saturday. The next few weeks of camp and the exhibition season will determine what type of team will be ready for Game 1 of the regular season in September.
There will be training camp battles, injuries, surprises and transactions ahead, but these would be the five perfect scenarios for the Raiders and their fans in the coming weeks:
Clelin Ferrell – The Raiders surprised a lot of people when they selected the former Clemson defensive end with their top pick in the draft, but they believe Ferrell can be the foundation to a re-made defensive line. If Ferrell shows in camp that he can be a dominating player against both the run and the pass, it will be a huge step forward for the defense in 2019. He may be the most-watched player in camp.
Kolton Miller – The left tackle struggled as a rookie, fighting through injuries and inconsistency as a pass protector. Miller needs to be much better to anchor an offensive line that also includes new right tackle Trent Brown and left guard Richie Incognito.
Antonio Brown – Is he still the dynamic playmaker who starred for the Steelers? Or has he lost a step and is a divisive force (as he was in his final weeks with Pittsburgh)? A great summer for Brown could set the tone for the offense going into Game 1.
New/old linebackers – A few folks around the NFL have doubts that former standout linebackers Vontaze Burfict (Bengals) and Brandon Marshall (Broncos) have much to offer Oakland because they may have lost a step. Can they thrive in a new environment? If both show they’re fired up and ready to go, that’s a big boost for the defense.
The other cornerback – Gareon Conley is set at one cornerback spot, but who will emerge at the other? If rookie Trayvon Mullen, Daryl Worley or Nick Nelson can have a terrific camp, pass coverage could potentially be much better in 2019. One of them needs to dominate.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Five-Things-That-Would-Make-a-Perfect-Training-Camp-for-Raiders-513245311.html.