Raiders to look at safety in workout

While it appears the Raiders will use their first-round draft pick on a wide receiver, the team may be ready to switch gears in the later rounds. Find out which prospect Oakland is going to check out in a private workout

According to Scout.com NFL expert Ed Thompson, the Raiders have a meeting and private workout planned with Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn, whose stock has continued to rise in recent weeks. Vaughn had a strong showing at the Wake Forest Pro Day on Monday when he put up numbers similar to those he had at the Scouting Combine.

Vaughn is projected as a third-round pick by most draft experts but the Raiders may be looking at him with their second-round pick. Cal center Alex Mack is also on Oakland's radar in the second round but may not be there when the Raiders go on the clock.

That Oakland is looking at a safety in the draft isn't that surprising. It's one of the team's primary positions of need after cutting Gibril Wilson. The depth chart also took a hit when Rashard Baker signed a free agent deal with Philadelphia, leaving Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff and Hiram Eugene as the only safeties on the roster.

Of the three Branch seems a likely starter. He played primarily on special teams as a rookie in 2008 but was working his way into the defensive backfield when he suffered a season-ending injury. With Wilson gone, Branch could slide over to his spot at free safety.

Huff was benched midway through the 2008 season and has been a disappointment since Oakland drafted him with its first-round pick in 2006. Eugene has been decent as a part-time player but isn't the long-term answer.

Vaughn is a strong safety who has a reputation for making big plays at critical times. During his final season at Wake Forest, the 6-foot, 220-pounder was third on the team with 87 tackles and also had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.


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