Raiders 53-man roster projection: Questions abound about receivers, defensive backs


Share post:

With 13 training camp practices and one preseason game in the books, the makeup of the Las Vegas Raiders roster is becoming easier to envision.

With that being said, there’s still intense competition at multiple position groups that’ll continue through cut day on Aug. 29. Here’s my guess at what the 53-man roster will look like:

Quarterback (3)

Starter: Jimmy Garoppolo

Backups: Brian Hoyer, Aidan O’Connell

Cut: Chase Garbers

Analysis: The only intrigue here is whether O’Connell can close the gap with Hoyer for the backup job. He got off to a strong start in the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, completing 15 of 18 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown. If he keeps up that level of play in the remaining practices and preseason games, he should be able to supplant Hoyer sometime this season.

Running back (4)

Starter: Josh Jacobs

Backups: Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden

Cut: Brittain Brown, Damien Williams, Sincere McCormick, Darwin Thompson

Analysis: As long as Jacobs is away from the team, White will be acting as the starting running back. Against the 49ers, White rushed for 43 rushing yards but averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and wasn’t targeted in the passing game. It wasn’t a bad showing, and he wasn’t running behind the starting offensive line, but it showed the potential dropoff if Jacobs doesn’t play for the Raiders this season. Abdullah adds value as a pass catcher and blocker. Bolden is largely just a special teams player at this point, but his leadership, experience and knowledge of the system give him the edge over Brown.

Fullback (1)

Starter: Jakob Johnson

Analysis: Fullback is a dying position, but McDaniels doesn’t care. The Raiders were in 21 personnel (two running backs, one tight end, two receivers) on 20.2 percent of their snaps last season (fourth) according to TruMedia. Johnson is viewed as a key component of the run game. The Raiders averaged 4.9 yards per carry (ninth) when in 21 personnel, so it’s hard to argue with the results.

Receiver (6)

Starters: Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow

Backups: Tre Tucker, DeAndre Carter, Phillip Dorsett

Cut: Keelan Cole Sr., Cam Sims, Kristian Wilkerson, Chris Lacy

Analysis: This is the deepest group on the roster, and making cuts will be difficult. Adams, Meyers, Renfrow and Tucker are locks. Among the rest of the group, Carter’s versatility and return ability and Dorsett’s speed and knowledge of McDaniels’ system likely push them ahead of the pack right now. It’s important to note, though, that it’s undecided whether the Raiders will keep five or six receivers. Renfrow, Tucker, Carter and Dorsett are all 5-foot-10 or shorter, which raises the question of whether this projected group would be too small.  Cole and Wilkerson, who are both 6-1, offer more size and have flashed during camp, so don’t rule them out yet.

Tight end (3)

Starter: Michael Mayer

Backups: Austin Hooper, Jesper Horsted

Cut: Jacob Hollister, John Samuel Shenker, Cole Fotheringham

Analysis: Mayer has missed significant time during OTAs and training camp due to undisclosed injuries and has taken his lumps as a blocker, but he’s still clearly the Raiders’ best option at tight end. Hooper, who is Mayer’s only real competition, is more of a complementary piece than a three-down tight end. It feels unlikely the Raiders will keep more than three tight ends. Hollister, who signed during training camp, is hoping to push Horsted, who has missed a few practices due to an undisclosed injury, for the final spot.

Offensive line (9)

Starters: LT Kolton Miller, LG Dylan Parham, C Andre James, RG Alex Bars, RT Jermaine Eluemunor

Backups: Thayer Munford Jr., Greg Van Roten, Brandon Parker, McClendon Curtis

Cut: Justin Herron, Hroniss Grasu, Dalton Wagner, Netane Muti, Jordan Meredith, Vitaliy Gurman

Analysis: Bars and Van Roten are competing at right guard and Munford and Eluemunor are competing at right tackle, but all four players will make the roster regardless of how those battles shake out. Parker has the edge over Herron to be the fourth tackle in the rotation. Curtis has impressed with his unique combination of size, strength and athleticism and has given himself a legit shot at a roster spot. That would technically leave the Raiders without a backup center on the roster, but Parham could always slide over if James misses time.


Who are the NFL’s top players 25 and under? League coaches, execs help rank

Defensive line (9)

Starters: DE Maxx Crosby, DT Bilal Nichols, DT Jerry Tillery, DE Chandler Jones

Backups: Tyree Wilson, Matthew Butler, Byron Young, Malcolm Koonce, Neil Farrell Jr.

Cut: John Jenkins, Nesta Jade Silvera, Jordan Willis, Adam Butler, Adam Plant, George Tarlas, David Agoha

Analysis: Koonce never got much of a chance to make an impression on defensive coordinator Patrick Graham last year, but he’s had more opportunities this summer and has frequently taken snaps with the first-team defense. He hasn’t made many plays, but neither have the other edge rushers fighting for roster spots. The Raiders need to keep at least four edge rushers, so Koonce hangs on. Silvera has flashed often during camp and is giving himself a chance to make the team. He has arguably been more impressive than Matthew Butler, Farrell and Young, but their draft pedigree likely makes it too early to cut them loose. And the same goes for Jenkins, who started the first preseason game and made a sack.

Linebacker (5)

Starters: Divine Deablo, Robert Spillane

Backups: Luke Masterson, Curtis Bolton, Amari Burney

Cut: Darien Butler, Kana’i Mauga, Drake Thomas

Analysis: Deablo, Spillane and Masterson are mainstays as the top three in the rotation. Bolton was a core special-teamer last year and has shown progress on defense. Burney has looked good in pass coverage while also holding up well in the run game. He flashed in the preseason opener with three tackles, a sack and a pass deflection.

Cornerback (6) 

Starters: Marcus Peters, Jakorian Bennett, Nate Hobbs

Backups: David Long Jr., Duke Shelley, Amik Robertson

Cut: Tyler Hall, Brandon Facyson, Sam Webb, Ike Brown, Bryce Cosby, Azizi Hearn, Jordan Perryman

Analysis: Long and Shelley have fallen out of the mix for starting jobs, but they remain players who can be depended on as rotational outside corners. Long has missed a few practices due to an undisclosed injury, but it’s hard to see him being cut. Facyson is also currently sidelined with an unspecified injury, but he hasn’t been as impressive when healthy. Shelley has also missed time during training camp but has come on strong since returning to practice last week. Robertson has worked at both nickelback and outside corner, and that versatility gives him a leg up on Hall, who’s exclusively a nickelback.

Safety (4) 

Starters: Marcus Epps, Tre’von Moehrig

Backups: Chris Smith II, Roderic Teamer

Cut: Isaiah Pola-Mao, Jaquan Johnson, Jaydon Grant

Analysis: Teamer is a solid rotational safety, a core special teams contributor and the type of player who finds a way to make the roster. Even so, Pola-Mao’s upside could give the Raiders some pause. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound safety has a unique build and has been used at deep safety, box safety and slot defender. He has come up with multiple interceptions during training camp and looks more comfortable overall in coverage. He still needs to make strides against the run, but the potential is clear. Perhaps the Raiders make another cut elsewhere to keep Pola-Mao and Teamer.

Specialists (3)

Kicker: Daniel Carlson

Punter: AJ Cole

Long snapper: Jacob Bobenmoyer

Analysis: Bobenmoyer has gotten adjusted to the quirkiness that comes with spending time with Carlson and Cole, and he has kept it clean on the field, too. Barring injuries, the Raiders should have one of the best kicking batteries in the league.

(Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

The Football 100, the definitive ranking of the NFL’s best 100 players of all time, goes on sale this fall. Pre-order it here.

Source link

Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

Recent posts

Related articles

Alessia Russo out of England’s Nations League fixture vs Scotland

<div data-draftjs-conductor-fragment="{"blocks":,"entityRanges":,"data":{}},{"key":"cblkb","text":"The 24-year-old was called up for England’s Nations League fixtures this month, with Wiegman keeping faith...

Should Al Horford or Robert Williams start for Celtics?

The Celtics will enter training camp in a couple of weeks with no clear fifth starter. Though...

Scott Munn begins role as Tottenham’s chief football officer

Scott Munn officially starts work as Tottenham Hotspur’s new chief football officer today.The Athletic revealed in April...

Dear Champions League, thank you, this is just what we needed. Much love, Arsenal

“Nice day for it,” someone quipped to his mate on the way to the turnstiles as torrential...

Leeds have a solid base to build from – Farke knows what happens next is key

Ange Postecoglou has it right. Managers and players have a duty to work, to earn their corn...

Week 3 fantasy football preview: Kyren Williams ready for a big leap, Drake London’s momentum and more

Hello friends, and welcome to Week 3. Forgive me if I sound angry and sad this week,...

Blue Jays win streak hits 5 as they fight to hold onto playoff spot they earned back

NEW YORK — A week is a long time in the baseball schedule. A team’s fortunes can...

Aston Villa fans: Discuss the Legia Warsaw game with Jacob Tanswell

So, where were you in August 2010? Pose your questions now and our Aston Villa writer Jacob...