The Oakland Raiders have mandatory minicamp and quarterback Derek Carr is healthy and back in action for the team and this is a good development heading into training camp, as Carr wants to get work with new starters Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Trent Richardson and this comes as Clive Walford, Mychal Rivera, Latavius Murray and Roy Helu are all pushing to contribute this season.
Carr had been out for a month and missed some OTA workouts while dealing with a hand injury, but the Contra Costa Times reports that he is fully healed up. The report has Carr saying that he is "100 percent" after sitting out and resting his hand and Pro Football Talk writes that Carr was able to throw without any pain in minicamp workouts. The Raiders were worried that Carr could miss some of the minicamp, which would have limited his time working with new players and a new offense in Oakland.
The team is going to have a number of new names stepping up on offense and players in different roles than last season. Jack Del Rio is coming in and that will add some new blood to things and names like Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Latavius Murray and Roy Helu all could be major contributors this season. Carr missing workouts takes away precious time that the team needs to use to build chemistry and that is why having him for minicamp is so important.
Murray comes in after being a backup for Darren McFadden last season, but with McFadden gone, Murray should battle with Trent Richardson to start. Cooper is coming in and is the number one receiver right away, but he needs time to develop and any work he does with Carr is a boon for the Raiders. Cooper has very high expectations after being a top five pick and he comes in after having a monster season with over 120 catches for 1727 yards and 16 touchdowns for Alabama last season.
Cooper is expected to be the number one wideout alongside Crabtree, who the Raiders signed from the 49ers in free agency. The team got a strong season from Carr as a rookie, but they need improve in the passing game and getting Cooper could be huge for the Raiders. Clive Walford is also expected to make an impact, as NFL.com writes that he could challenge Mychal Rivera in the starting lineup. Rivera is more of a pass catcher and Walford is a better pass blocker and that could help him see more snaps. The team loves Walford's size and he comes into minicamp signed after agreeing to a four year deal worth $3.3 million as a third round pick.
Carr comes in after throwing for 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season and he started all 16 games for the Raiders. The team wants Carr to complete over 60 percent of his passes this season after going for 58 percent last year and they feel he is developing in the right direction. The team added a number of new players on offense and they also worked on improving the offensive line. All of that should give Carr the tools he needs to be a solid QB in the NFL.