ALAMEDA – Top 2017 draft picks Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu haven't been fully cleared to practice during the Raiders offseason program.
Head coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday the defensive backs are nearing a return, though they didn't participate much during the start of this week's voluntary minicamp.
Conley, a cornerback drafted No. 24 overall, is recovering from shin surgery last winter. Melifonwu, a second-round safety, is on the mend after hip surgery.
"They participated in the morning session, the walk-through," Gruden said. "They did some of the individual work this afternoon. They're real close, but for obvious reasons, we're being careful with them this early in the process."
Conley is being counted on to start at outside cornerback, while Melifonwu must earn a role in a crowded safety group featuring Karl Joseph, Marcus Gilchrist and Reggie Nelson.
Raiders comfortable signing Worley
Cornerback Daryl Worley was practicing Tuesday, a day after signing with the Raiders. The Eagles released him following an April incident that resulted in charged of DUI, weapons possession and resisting arrest, among other things. That happened shortly after acquiring him in trade from Carolina.
The 2016 draft pick and West Virginia alum has started 25 games in two professional seasons, and could contribute if his off-field troubles don't result in criminal punishment or an NFL suspension.
Gruden said the Raiders were comfortable bringing him aboard.
"Well we looked into it, and obviously it was an unfortunate matter," Gruden said. "We have a lot of intel on Worley with Karl Joseph here who was his teammate at West Virginia. Bruce Irvin played at West Virginia. We have a lot of insight in him. Talked to some of his previous coaches. We think he deserves another chance. We're happy to give him one. I think he's learned his lesson. He has to prove that. And he can help us if he's right."
Mack stays away
Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack was absent from Tuesday's practice, and isn't expected to show up in Alameda until a big-money contract extension is complete. Gruden didn't have an update on Mack, focusing instead on players in Alameda.
Quarterback Derek Carr has been in regular contact with Mack and understands from his own contract extension last year what his friend is going through waiting to secure his future.
"I know the feelings. I know the emotions, while still getting ready for a season," Carr said. "I've been in contact with him to make sure his emotions are good, making sure he's good, that we're here and we love him. I don't want him to be worried about any of that."