ALAMEDA, Calif. — Little imagination is required to predict that players such as quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Antonio Brown, guard Richie Incognito and rookie defensive lineman Ronald Ollie will be featured prominently in the Raiders’ season of “Hard Knocks.”
Here are five less-obvious subjects whose stories could be shown.
The first of five Tuesday episodes airs Aug. 6.
■ Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes: The defensive tackle and 2017 third-round pick suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter of the final game of his rookie season. A setback during training camp last year forced him to miss the entire 2018 campaign. He seeks to reassert himself this summer.
■ Running back DeAndre Washington: July 28 marks the one-year anniversary of when his sister Taiesha Watkins was fatally shot as an innocent bystander in a gang-related shooting in New Orleans. Washington, who has honored Watkins while raising gun-violence awareness, is competing for a roster spot.
■ Center Rodney Hudson: No NFL center has performed better in pass protection in recent years. Now, entering his final season under contract, Hudson is a candidate for a contract extension. He knows a thing or two about business; he completed his MBA in the spring.
■ Safety Johnathan Abram: Naturally, all three Raiders rookie first-rounders stand to garner attention, and all have background stories worth telling. Abram is included here for his personality swagger that could energize a rebuilding defense and also his standing as a father. He and wife Bri’Anna have a daughter, whose twin sister arrived stillborn in 2017.
■ Tight end Paul Butler: The Raiders haven’t made a significant investment at tight end since the free-agency departure of Jared Cook. Butler, 6-feet, 6-inches and 252 pounds, quietly returns as a stout target who has raised internal comparison to George Kittle. He’ll make a serious push for the 53-man roster.