Oakland Training Camp: Predictions for Raiders’ Five Hot Competitions

Now that training camp has been going on for the last week the speculation has been replaced by reality. There was a lot of speculation about which jobs would be up for grabs for the Oakland Raiders. Now that we have seen several practices, let's look at the top five competitions to watch from here until the season opener.

5. Kamerion Wimbley vs. Thomas Howard

Wimbley was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns for a mid-round draft pick. He had a stellar rookie season but never reached his sacks totals again. Howard has been Oakland's best pass coverage linebacker after he made six interceptions in 2006. But he hasn't come close to that since then.

This competition at outside linebacker features a couple of players who have shown the ability to be great but are yet to play consistently at a high level. I'm picking Wimbley here, he wasn't acquired for nothing.

4. Jacoby Ford vs. Nick Miller vs. Johnie Lee Higgins

This is a three-way match with more question marks than any other competition. Ford is a promising rookie from Clemson who starred on special teams returns with his speed below 4.3 at the 40 yard dash. 

Miller was on the active roster all of last season even though he was always injured. In camp last year he looked like he would be good on returns but with the injuries he suffered, we never saw him.


The biggest question mark of the group is Higgins. He had a breakout year on returns in 2008 with three touchdowns. He never recovered his amazing ability after he got clocked on opening night last season. If he finds his 2008 form, this is his job to lose.

3. Chaz Schilens vs. Louis Murphy vs. Darrius Heyward-Bey

Nobody is sure who will get the playing time in this group. So far, Heyward-Bey is winning by default with injuries to Schilens (foot) and Murphy (concussion). Heyward-Bey is a new man from ...

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