A breakdown of the Oakland Raiders' 2017 draft class and its progress after two weeks of training camp:
Gareon Conley, CB, first round (No. 24 overall): The former Ohio State star, whose draft stock fell amid an accusation of rape, has yet to suit up in camp, let alone practice due to what general manager Reggie McKenzie referred to as “the shin splints.” Conley, though, refuted that specific claim on Twitter but said this past weekend on Instagram he was healing and ran for the first time in two months. A grand jury declined to pursue charges against Conley and the next time he takes the field, the Raiders' secondary will be improved.
Obi Melifonwu, S, second round (No. 56): The physical specimen from UConn is supposed to help solve the Raiders’ long-standing problem with covering tight ends, but Melifonwu has had trouble getting on the practice field of late with an undisclosed injury. But when he has been in uniform and working in the Raiders’ nickel and dime defenses, he has looked impressive.
Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, third round (No. 88): He took over a starting spot on the defensive line, next to All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack, and looks like a steal thus far after overcoming injuries and weight gain in college. Vanderdoes is athletic and has quick hands on the line and, perhaps most impressive, he reminds quarterback Derek Carr of Justin Tuck. This after missing all of the team’s offseason program with UCLA on the quarter system.
David Sharpe, OT, fourth round (No. 129): After getting a seal of approval from coach Jack Del Rio’s son Luke, a quarterback for whom Sharpe blocked at Florida, Sharpe was setting himself up nicely with quality reps as a backup left tackle. Then Sharpe injured an ankle in practice last week and had to sit out the Raiders’ exhibition opener at Arizona.
Marquel Lee, MLB, fifth round (No. 168): Yes, he flashed at times in the exhibition opener, breaking up a pass here, recovering a fumble there, as he wore the green "communication" dot on his helmet. But mostly the Wake Forest product had trouble in coverage, got pushed around a little by offensive linemen and looked like a fifth-round rookie. Still, the gig is his to lose ... for now.
Shalom Luani, S, seventh round (No. 221): Mr. “Football-Playing Jessie,” per McKenzie, is already putting in his time on special teams, as expected. But the Washington State product also played a Raiders-high 43 snaps (59 percent) on defense. He had the most acrobatic pass breakup of the game against the Cardinals, an outstretched near-interception at the goal line.
Jylan Ware, OT, seventh round (No. 231): Alabama State’s finest has had a good camp as well in seeing quality reps at backup right tackle. He was injured in practice last week and missed time but came back to play in the exhibition opener. He was initially seen as a practice-squad candidate but will make a run for an initial 53-man roster.
Elijah Hood, seventh round (No. 242): With a similar size and running style, the North Carolina product was initially seen as the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch. But Hood has not had much run with the front-line players and, curiously, did not play at all in Oakland’s preseason opener. Might he be on the chopping block and, thus, a practice-squad candidate?
Treyvon Hester, DT, seventh round (No. 244): The former Toledo Rocket got off to a fast start in the offseason program and training camp, lining up with the first-team defense until being supplanted by Vanderdoes. Hester, though, gave a glimpse of his ability with two sacks against the Cardinals and gave the coaching staff more food for thought.