- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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NAPA, Calif . -- A daily review of the hot topics coming of of Oakland Raiders training camp:
The Raiders released their first depth chart of training camp before Monday's practice. So how much stock does coach Dennis Allen put in it, four days before the team's preseason opener at the Minnesota Vikings? “Not much,” Allen said. “Everything we've done so far has been put in pencil ... we wanted to give you guys something to write about.” Yes, there will be changes throughout the exhibition season, but the depth chart is a gauge of where the staff thinks the players are at this moment in time.
Andre Holmes was listed ahead of veteran James Jones atop one of the receiver's slots, with Denarius Moore third, and Holmes responded with another strong practice. Holmes had a pretty 50-yard touchdown reception on a post route from Matt Schaub, easily beating cornerback Keith McGill, though there seemed to be confusion between Charles Woodson and Tyvon Branch as there was no safety help for McGill.
The diminutive-but-powerful Maurice Jones-Drew is ahead of Darren McFadden at running back and looks shiftier when running between the tackles. The 5-foot-7, 210-pound Jones-Drew can seemingly hide in the offensive line while McFadden's strength has always been in space.
First-team tight end David Ausberry was out with a knee issue, so with Mychal Rivera stepping up, that gave Brian Leonhardt some snaps with the first-team offense. His strength is undoubtedly in blocking as he fumbled after getting popped going across the middle after making a catch. Paging Nick Kasa.
If Denarius Moore's body language could talk, it would say a lot of bad things. Moore, listed behind Holmes and James Jones at one receiver, is also second at punt returner, behind rookie TJ Carrie. After flubbing one punt return, Moore dropped to the field and did pushups.
Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack continued his impressive disruptive ways. He again got into the offensive backfield with aplomb, and also knocked down a Schaub's pass at the line of scrimmage.
Sio Moore, listed as the first-team weakside linebacker, missed his second consecutive practice with a sore rib, so Miles Burris continued to get the starting reps. Linebackers Kaluka Maiava (hamstring) and Marshall McFadden (hip) and safety Shelton Johnson (unknown) missed practice again. Cornerback DJ Hayden (foot), safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) are still on the physically unable to perform list while cornerback Neiko Thorpe (unknown) worked with a trainer on a side field before practice.
Retired former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha visited practice and watched alongside owner Mark Davis and Hall of fame cornerback Willie Brown.
The Raiders practice again Tuesday at 3 p.m. PT.
5dEric D. Williams
5dEric D. Williams