Raiders rookie watch

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
I have spent so much time concentrating on Raiders' top pick Darren McFadden. I believe it has been time well spent. McFadden, the No. 4 overall pick, should be a challenger for the NFL offensive rookie of the year award.

While spending so much time on McFadden, I have not chimed in on the rest of the Raiders' small class.

Defensive back Tyvon Branch: The fourth-round pick had been in the returning mix but he needs surgery on a broken thumb that has hampered his progress.

Receiver Arman Shields: The fourth-round pick has been bothered by a knee injury. He really hasn't been able to get into a groove because of the injury. Yet, Oakland likes him for the long term.

Defensive end Trevor Scott: He will have to make the team on special teams. Could be headed to the practice squad.

Receiver Chaz Schilens: The seventh rounder is a project who has been uneven in camp, but the Raiders really like him. There is room for young receivers on Oakland's 53-man roster and watch for Schilens to make the squad.

Meanwhile, after today's practice, Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said Saturday's preseason game is a big game for receiver Javon Walker. Kiffin was not pleased with Walker after the Tennessee game Friday night. It will be very interesting to see what Kiffin means by saying it's an important game for Walker.