Contenders and Pretenders from the Oakland Raiders’ Rookie Minicamp

The 2013 class of rookies showed up to the Oakland Raiders’ headquarters in Alameda for a brief minicamp over the weekend. Many of the players will have to go back to college until they graduate, and others will be able to stick around for the start of organized team activities.

Coverage of rookie minicamps has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and naturally we try to glean something from them. The coaches are learning about the players, the players are starting to learn the playbook and we try to interpret how these performances might impact the future.

Last year, Juron Criner and Rod Streater were impressive during rookie minicamp, but only Streater contributed during the season. The difference was that Streater continued to impress after the rookie minicamp was over.

Just like last year, some of these rookies will be contenders and some will be pretenders. Which rookies are the real deal and which rookies only performed because they were competing against other rookies?

You can wait until the season or just read on as I predict the future.


Contender: Tyler Wilson, QB

Tyler Wilson was one of my favorite quarterbacks in this draft class. It didn’t come as a surprise to me when he received positive reviews after minicamp.

According to Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group, Wilson displayed a strong arm, great accuracy, great touch and the composure of a veteran during minicamp.

That’s a far cry from the reviews fans are accustomed to hearing about rookie quarterbacks in Oakland.

Corkran pointed out that Wilson was “miles ahead” of where JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter, Marques Tuiasosopo and Terrelle Pryor were when they arrived in Oakland as rookies.

Even head coach Dennis Allen didn’t hold back his praise of Wilson:

Well, I’ve liked the way Tyler...

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