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Rookie Matchups: Oakland rolls the dice hoping to improve defense

The Raiders invested in their defense this year, but will it pay off?

The NFL Draft is over and the work to get all the rookies ready for the NFL begins. For the Washington Redskins that means first round pick Jonathan Allen and nine other players selected in the 2017 draft. The same scenario exists for the other 31 NFL teams of which the Redskins will face 13 including each NFC East rival twice. Let's begin taking a look at the interesting matchups and scenarios involving the new guys.

Who: Oakland Raiders

When: Week 3: Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 pm on NBC

Where: FedEx Field

Interesting rookies:

* 1st round -- Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

* 2nd round -- Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

* 3rd round -- Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA

Major matchup:  Should Conley be exonerated of an alleged rape accusation, Oakland certainly got themselves a steal at the cornerback position as he was possibly that second best cover guy in the draft ahead of his former teammate Marshon Lattimore and Alabama's Marlon Humphrey who were selected ahead of him. Cornerback was clearly a position of need for the Raiders so should Conley's off the field concerns disappear without concern, there is a good chance we could certainly see him and Terrelle Pryor go at it on prime time television.

Keep an eye on: Even though the Raiders spent last year's first-round draft pick on Karl Joseph, they decided to invest in another young safety. Melifonwu is still raw, but the athleticism he displayed at the combine resulted in a rising stock. We could see the 6-foot-4 safety matched up with the dynamic Jordan Reed as Melifonwu is one of few players that can actually size up with the tight end.

Don't forget: Vanderdoes suffered a gruesome ACL injury in 2015, which also seemed to effect his 2016 play. Should he rebound to 2014 form, Oakland may have found themselves a future starter. Should be an interesting test to see Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff go up against the 6-foot-3, 305 pounder in one-on-one scenarios.

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