NAPA -- With practice not scheduled until 2:50 p.m. Monday, a quick-hit analysis on competition hot-spots through three days of Raiders training camp and one padded practice: Quarterback: Matt Flynn has the early endorsement of Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie as the starter and has done nothing to lose ground. He's been fairly consistent and error-free. Looks as if he'll understand his limitations and lead the offense.
Terrelle Pryor has improved as a passer. Looks as if he could be a viable option if Flynn goes down or in some speciality packages given his ability on the perimeter. Tyler Wilson has had some rough moments and his getting his feet wet. Matt McGloin figures in only if the event of injury.
Running back: Rashad Jennings getting backup work behind Darren McFadden and looks like a steady plugger as a power runner suited for the new scheme. Latavius Murray bears watching as camp goes on. Could be a Michael Bush-like player, particularly in the screen game. Wide receiver: Rod Streater has been the most consistent player and could emerge as the go-to receiver for Flynn and Co. because they're relatively certain he'll come down with the ball. Denarius Moore occasionally flashes the ability that made him such an impressive rookie.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn works out during the first day of training camp held in Napa, Calif., on Friday, July 26, 2013. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group) (Dan Honda)
Jacoby Ford had an encouraging offseason but is hurt again with an undisclosed injury. No one is sure how long he'll be out. A quick return would be big. Brice Butler is big, fast and flashes some skill. The group as a whole needs to catch better -- way too many drops. Tight end: A glut of players who would make a great tight end if all their attributes were somehow implanted into a single player. Allen would like someone to emerge and be ``the guy'' as Brandon Myers did last year, but it's virtually impossible to tell at the moment who that might be.
David Ausberry and Richard Gordon are still working to break out of their roles as receiver (Ausberry) and blocker (Gordon) and prove to be dual threats. Rookies Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera are of a similar ilk. Rivera, in particular, looks capable of contributing as a receiver and being used creatively in the slot, in motion, etc.
Undrafted free agent Brian Leonhardt, looks like a Myers type in that he isn't overly fast but may be able to find open areas. Offensive line: Lucas Nix opened as the starter in a mild surprise over Tony Bergstrom after the two alternated during the offseason. The wild card is recent signee Andre Gurode. If Gurode has anything left -- was a Pro Bowl center for line coach Tony Sparano in Dallas -- he could figure at either guard spot. Stefen Wisniewski has yet to take any snaps at guard.
The more time second-round pick Menelik Watson misses with an undisclosed injury (he remains on the non-football injury list) the less likely it is he can mount a challenge to incumbent right tackle Khalif Barnes to be a Week 1 starter. Watson's skills are considerable, but his college experience was scant (13 games). Defensive line: Christo Bilukidi is getting a chance to assert himself with the absence of Pat Sims with an undisclosed injury. It's also an opportunity for rookie Stacy McGee. Outside spots have been steady with Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter -- the latter who could be a find as an edge-setting base end. Andre Carter will be kept fresh for maximum effectiveness on pass rush downs.
Looking forward to seeing how David Bass fares when Raiders begin one-on-one blocking drills in earnest. Linebacker: Sio Moore tweeted Sunday night he's ready to go after missing one practice with an undisclosed injury, and that's big. Early indications are he is being counted upon as a first-year starter and playmaker. Kaluka Maiava's left foot injury gives Keith Burnett a leg up on the other starting job with Nick Roach in the middle.
Miles Burris may be ticketed to back up Roach if he can get on the field. Defensive back: Safety rotation appears set with Charles Woodson (free), Tyvon Branch (strong) and Usama Young (either side). At cornerback, D.J. Hayden looks farther along than one might have anticipated -- he's often the first-team nickel corner along with Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter -- but getting the red jersey off and delivering a blow will be the big test.
Cory Nelms has shown the ability to break on a ball and make a play. Punter: Allen said Marquette King would like win a punt, pass and kick contest for distance, but that Chris Kluwe has the edge in consistency. For a defensive minded coach like Allen, and defensive-minded general manager like McKenzie, that's huge. One of their biggest fears is a shanked or blocked punt, ruining field position.