CAMP QUESTIONS

1. How do the Raiders make sure Matt Schaub doesn't become the next Matt Flynn?

Probably not a fair question, given Schaub's body of work before a poor 2013 with the Houston Texans as opposed to Flynn's thin resume a year ago. Still, it behooves the Raiders to get Schaub playing with confidence, and part of that is making sure there is no immediate "competition" with second-round draft pick Derek Carr.

2. How will the offensive line sort itself out around center Stefen Wisniewski?

The hope is Menelik Watson seizes the job at right tackle, enabling signee Austin Howard to move inside to guard. And that on the left side, rookie third-round pick Gabe Jackson emerges at guard and that Donald Penn returns to the form that made him a Pro Bowl player with Tampa Bay in 2012 at tackle.

3. How will Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver utilize rookie first-round draft pick Khalil Mack?

Allen said the plan would be to throw as much as possible at Mack early on, then refine his role as the season approaches. One thing appears certain -- Mack will usually have his hand on the ground as a pass rusher in nickel defenses. It will be important to Oakland's hopes that Mack excels instantly as a rookie.

4. Who emerges as go-to running back in the event that Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew struggle?

The best bet would be Latavius Murray, a fifth-round draft pick a year ago who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a foot injury. The other possibility would be Kory Sheets, a former 49er who was a starter last season in the Canadian Football League.


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5. Is it already a make or break camp for cornerback DJ Hayden?

The 2013 first-round draft pick didn't get much out of his rookie season because of surgery related to his trauma while at college in Houston and then with a sports hernia. An important offseason was slowed by a hamstring strain. Hayden needs to put a lot of practices together to become the starter opposite Tarell Brown.

-- JERRY McDONALD