As Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and his staff begin their practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl, he will get an opportunity for a first-hand look at the prospects playing in the game. The coaching staff, including new offensive coordinator Greg Olson and special teams coordinator Bobby April, as well as the Raiders scouts will have access to practices and the game while they try to plan for April's NFL Draft.
Oakland holds the third selection in this year's draft, but there is probably not a player in the Senior Bowl worthy of that high a selection. However, the talent of the north team that Allen is coaching could be part of the Raiders organization in the rounds that follow. The north squad boasts several college standouts including Denard Robinson of Michigan, who is listed as a wide receiver, running backs Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA. Tackle Eric Fisher of Central Michigan is rated as one of the best offensive lineman in this year's draft.
On the defensive side of the ball, Allen will coach defensive lineman from Penn State Jordan Hill as well as Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene. In the secondary, an area the Raiders need to address in the upcoming draft, defensive backs TJ McDonald of USC and Desmond Trufant of Washington are members of the north team.
Because Olson was just hired this week to run the Oakland offense in 2013, he will not call the plays in the Senior Bowl. Instead Al Saunders will make the offensive calls. The Senior Bowl will provide Allen, his staff, and scouts a great opportunity to meet and evaluate the players. It will be interesting if anyone from this game becomes a Raider because of what they showed this week.
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