NAPA — Here's a quick-hit analysis on competition hot-spots through three days of Raiders training camp and one padded practice:
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. 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 getting his feet wet. Matt McGloin figures in only in the event of injury.
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.
Rod Streater has been the most consistent player and could emerge as Flynn's the go-to receiver because he looks like he'll come down with the ball. Denarius Moore occasionally flashes the ability that made him such an impressive rookie. 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 last year.
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.
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 — he 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).
Christo Bilukidi is getting a chance to assert himself with the absence of Pat Sims with an undisclosed injury. Another option is rookie Stacy McGee. Outside spots have been steady with Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter — the latter could be a find as an edge-setting base end. Andre Carter will be kept fresh for maximum effectiveness on pass rush downs.