By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on July 12, 2014
It's been a while since the Raiders haven't had to subscribe to the “beggars can't be choosers” philosophy in shaping their roster. But with a talent-laden roster this season, there should be some epic positional battles. With only so many roster spots available, some players on the bubble will really have to shine in training camp or they may find themselves without a job.
Here are five players who need to really stand out in training camp:
Injuries and inconsistent play have kept Bergstrom off of the field for extended periods since Oakland drafted him in 2012. He hasn't come close to living up to expectations and with the Raiders bringing in a host of new linemen to shore up the offensive trench, Bergstrom's spot on the roster is already shaky -- at best. It's very possible, because he's been such a disappointment, that not even a solid camp will save his job.
The Raiders have a deep, talented group of LBs. A strength for the defense in 2013, with Khalil Mack joining Sio Moore, Nick Roach and a healthy Miles Burris, the 2014 LB corps looks even better. Sitting out of OTAs and not participating in the three-day minicamp didn't help Burnett and he'll likely need a monster performance in camp or he may be one and done in Oakland.
Hayden has tremendous upside and the sky really is the limit for him. He has the potential to be a shutdown corner in the league – if he can ever manage to stay healthy. Shortly after proclaiming his health issues were in the past, Hayden got hurt and missed the minicamp. Though he's not in immediate danger of being cut, a poor showing in camp – or another injury – may see him buried on the bench behind McGill, Carrie, Rogers and Brown.
Though he's a fast, solid running back, Kory Sheets' job with the Raiders is anything but secure at this point. The Raiders have a stable full of RBs with serious talent in Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray at the top of the depth chart. If Sheets performs well in camp, though, he could find himself getting some touches as a change of pace back. If he doesn't perform well, he could find himself headed back to Canada.
A lot has been written about Moore's troubles with consistency, and the coaching staff's irritation with him because of it. There is a heated position battle coming when camp opens, and it really is make or break for Moore. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, a solid performance may see him rewarded with another contract. If his consistency issues continue to be a problem, he may find himself out of Oakland sooner rather than later.
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