For the first time, the Raiders’ 2015 draft class will be on the field with veterans Tuesday with the start of organized team activities (OTAs).
New wide receiver Amari Cooper, the team’s No. 1 draft choice, will get a chance to learn from Michael Crabtree and test himself against veteran safety Charles Woodson. Second-round pick Mario Edwards Jr. will get the opportunity to pick up tips from veteran defensive end Justin Tuck.
No live contact is permitted during OTAs, but teams can run 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
OTAs will be held in three sessions, May 19-21, May 26-28 and June 1-4. Following OTAs comes the full-squad mandatory minicamp June 9-11. The full-squad minicamp will be the final team activity before the start of full-squad training camp in July.
For quarterback Derek Carr, this week’s OTAs will give him a chance to throw in a formal setting to new receivers Cooper, Crabtree and former Fresno State teammate Josh Harper – who signed as an undrafted free agent – as well as Clive Walford, the rookie tight end from the University of Miami.
Expectations are high that the additions of Cooper, Crabtree, Walford and Co., plus a new offensive scheme from coordinator Bill Musgrave, will give Carr many more options than he had in his rookie season.
By drafting Cooper with the fourth overall pick, the Raiders have sent a message that they intend to be much better offensively in 2015. This week, Cooper – who’ll be matched against veteran defensive backs for the first time in drills – will get his opportunity to show what he can do.
New head coach Jack Del Rio, for one, is eager to watch.
“The expectations should be high for a young man that comes in that is selected that high in the draft,” Del Rio told reporters recently. “But he’ll need to prove it on the field and earn it.”