As the Raiders get ready to open their summer training camp this week, only three draft picks remain unsigned.
But all three are high picks the team certainly wants to get on the field as quickly as possible.
Cornerback D.J. Hayden, the No. 12 selection in the first round, has yet to sign, and neither has offensive tackle Menelik Watson (second round) and quarterback Tyler Wilson (fourth round).
General manager Reggie McKenzie was able to sign his seven other selections easily, but it’s possible that Hayden and Wilson may be more difficult.
As Bill Williamson, ESPN.com’s AFC West blogger, recently noted, each is a special case.
Hayden, because of the freak accident he suffered last season at the University of Houston that required life-saving chest surgery, might have been an even higher pick in the first round. Other teams were scared off by health concerns.
As Williamson wrote: “Hayden’s deal could take some time because of his medical issues. … Hayden is expected to be completely ready for the start of training camp. But I wouldn’t be shocked if there is some medical protection written into the deal as a precaution.”
And Wilson – because he’s a quarterback and there might be a chance he could play in his rookie season – might also have a more complex deal to work out. There could be some “contingency language written into the deal” to account for playing time, wrote Williamson.
The 11th player taken in the draft, just ahead of Hayden, is offensive tackle D.J. Fluker of the Chargers, who has signed for a reported $11.4 million in a four-year deal.
Wilson, of course, is behind veteran Matt Flynn on the depth chart, but reportedly looked very good at times through organized team activities and two minicamps this spring. It’s been speculated that Wilson at some point in 2013 could supplant Flynn as the starter if Flynn falters in his first starting role. Veteran Terrelle Pryor remains in the hunt as well, but it’s obvious the Raiders still aren’t quite sure what they have in him.
Head coach Dennis Allen has said good things about Wilson, praising his arm strength, accuracy and his leadership in the huddle.
The drafted players who are signed and ready to begin camp are linebacker Sio Moore, tight ends Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera, running back Latavius Murray, defensive tackle Stacy McGee, receiver Brice Butler and defensive end David Bass.