Key storylines to monitor at Raiders mandatory minicamp

Key storylines to monitor at Raiders mandatory minicamp
June 17, 2014, 8:15 am



Rookie quarterback Derek Carr is reportedly making progress faster than expected and could cut into backup Matt McGloin’s reps.
Scott Bair

As a rookie in 2013, Mychal Rivera caught 38 passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns. (USATI)

Editor's note: Scott Bair is in Alameda Tuesday through Thursday for the Raiders' three-day minicamp. Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com and tune in nightly to SportsNet Central and Yahoo SportsTalk Live for comprehensive coverage.

The Raiders offseason program is nearly up. This week is the final stage, with a mandatory minicamp that runs Tuesday-Thursday at the team facility.

While this is as close to a training camp vibe the offseason provides, these aren’t padded practices. The Raiders hope to make strides and build upon their work during three weeks of OTAs.

First and foremost, the Raiders would like to stay healthy and help this large veteran influx assimilate into the Raiders offensive and defensive schemes.

Jobs aren’t won and lost during the offseason program, not with a full preseason ahead and full contact on the horizon. Players can stand out and set themselves up for a strong camp.

A few things to look out for over the course of this minicamp:

-- Head coach Dennis Allen was uncertain whether cornerback DJ Hayden (ankle) would be healthy enough to participate in this minicamp, but the Raiders certainly hope he can. “He needs the work,” Allen said.

-- Rookie quarterback Derek Carr is reportedly making progress faster than expected and could cut into backup Matt McGloin’s reps. Carr has been running the third team over the past few weeks.

-- Third-round pick Gabe Jackson took some first team reps at left guard last week during an OTA open to the press. He could continue to cut into Khalif Barnes’ reps with the first team.

-- Allen said he believed the competition at tight end is wide open and he’s looking for someone to step up before the regular season. Right now, David Ausberry and Mychal Rivera are the favorites to play a major role in the offense, though neither player has excelled at blocking in the run game.

[REWIND: Is Ausberry the Raiders' answer at tight end?]

-- Linebacker Kevin Burnett has been absent for several OTAs, though he should be at the minicamp. He hasn't practiced at a session open to the press this offseason. It will be interesting to see which team he lines up with. He was the starting weakside linebacker last season, but that position has gotten crowded with Miles Burris healthy and Sio Moore trying a switch from the strong side.