ALAMEDA -- Khalil Mack has been challenged by everything but surprised by nothing at the Raiders' mandatory three-day minicamp.

Until Thursday.

"I went to the team meeting room and they made me get up on stage and try to sing something," Mack said. "They caught me off guard with that."

With established veteran players singing Mack's praises, there is a great sense of anticipation for seeing what the rookie linebacker can do in full pads when the club reports to training camp in Napa on July 25.

Privately, there's a sense among coaches, the scouts and front office that Mack is even better than the Raiders initially believed. That's saying a lot, considering general manager Reggie McKenzie made him the No. 5 pick in the draft and coach Dennis Allen compared him to Denver outside linebacker Von Miller, one of the NFL's elite pass rushers.

"Sometimes he moves like a defensive back," left tackle Donald Penn said. "It's crazy for a guy like that to be doing that. He has a motor that's relentless. As a tackle, you stay on him until you hear the whistle or hear the crowd cheer."

Free safety Charles Woodson took notice of Mack's ability at 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds to bend at the waist and get under tackles coming off the edge as well as change of direction.

"It will be great to see him in action when it really goes down," Woodson said. "We all have high hopes for him, because he's only going to make us better as a team."

The perception that Mack could be an immediate star doesn't bother him.

"I'm a relaxed individual," Mack said. "I don't really think 'pressure, pressure, pressure.' I think, 'OK, this is what it is, work on this, work on that, do your job.'

"No more redshirting. No more baby steps. I've got to go out and play football, and that's what I love to do."

Mack moved in immediately as the first-team strongside linebacker but also has had some work on the right side. He'll likely have his hand on the ground in most nickel situations as a pass rusher but will also be available to blitz.

Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver are examining all the possibilities, and Mack is doing his best to absorb it all.

"We've got his head spinning right now, which is a good thing," Allen said. "We're going to throw as much at him as we can at him into the early part of training camp and then we'll settle down into the things we can execute as a team at a high level."

Mack has spent a lot of time bending the ear of defensive ends Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley about playing with his hand on the ground, reasoning. "It'd be dumb for me not to ask questions knowing the skill level they play with and that they're pretty much the best in the game when it comes to pass rushing."

Said Tuck: "I think he's going to be special. He has a great work ethic and obviously a ton of talent. And he asks a lot of questions, which is exactly what rookies should do."

Other than visiting with family in Florida, Mack plans to train, work on techniques and study.

He's looking forward to learning to decipher the defensive calls made by his teammates.

"It is a lot of voices behind my head, trying to figure out what safeties are saying," Mack said. "You've got to listen to the right things. I'm trying to break down and assess the game at a high level like those guys are."

  • Seventh-round draft pick Jonathan Dowling of Western Kentucky had an interception as deep safety and then broke up a pass on the next play. Cornerback Taiwan Jones also had an interception of a Matt McGloin pass.

  • Tight end Mychal Rivera made a spectacular leaping one-handed catch from Matt Schaub in the end zone with Tyvon Branch draped all over him.

  • Allen has liked what he's seen from cornerback TJ Carrie, the De La Salle High product by way of Ohio University.

    "Really every day there's been something that he's done that you say, 'Damn that was a pretty good play,' " Allen said.

  • Right guard Austin Howard missed practice with a finger injury. Khalif Barnes moved from left guard to right guard, with rookie Gabe Jackson playing left guard.

  • Former Raiders attending the mandatory minicamp included Marv Hubbard, Raymond Chester, Art Thoms and George Buehler.