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Final 53 projection: Raiders’ offense

The Raiders have now completed training camp and played in all four pre-season games. They have, in the last week, cut their team down to only 75 players.

Now comes the truly difficult part: trimming the roster down to the final 53 players. Here are my projections of who that will include:

For the defensive players, click here

Players in bold are the ones that make the final roster


Quarterback: 3
Matt Schaub
Derek Carr
Matt McGloin

Analysis: There should not be any real surprises, here. If you’re surprised by any of the names, above, you haven’t been paying attention. After last night’s game, Carr may have moved into the starting spot but both are still going to make the team. McGloin is a solid backup with starting experience.


Fullback: 2
Marcel Reece
Jamize Olawale
Karl Williams

Analysis: In previous versions I was not sure that Olawale would make the squad. I think he has solidified his spot with solid play both as a lead fullback that can catch out of the backfield (see the team’s first play versus the Seahawks, a 12 yard completion from Carr to Olawale) and with solid special teams play. The Raiders go with two fullbacks again, this year.


Running Back: 4
Maurice Jones-Drew
Darren McFadden
Latavius Murray
Jeremy Stewart
George Atkinson (practice squad)


Analysis: The top 3 should be fairly clear. Jones-Drew and McFadden will split time as starters (the pessimist in me wants to add: until McFadden sustains a foot/leg injury). Murray has ranged from looking decent to strong but he’s a good backup at this point with upside and he has also worked his way into being the team’s starting kickoff returner.

I end up with Jeremy Stewart on the squad due to his special teams work. He was my 53rd player, so I’m not extremely confident that he makes it but I think he has a decent shot because of his special teams work.

Atkinson has shown flashes but he’s better as a practice squad player, for now.


Wide Receiver: 5
James Jones
Rod Streater
Andre Holmes
Denarius Moore
Brice Butler

Greg Little
Seth Roberts (practice squad)

Analysis: Jones and Streater are the starters and Moore, Holmes and Butler have all shown flashes of being able to come off the bench and contribute. Butler has been dominant against reserves with McGloin throwing him the ball. Moore did great against a mix of the Seahawks starters and backups, last night, and continues to get better.

Greg Little, who came into camp looking very good, has not had any moments during preseason games despite running against the backups. He ends the preseason having played in 4 games and coming away with a completely underwhelming 5 total catches for 65 total yards and no TDs.


Tight End: 3
David Ausberry
Mychal Rivera
Brian Leonhardt

Jake Murphy (practice squad)
Scott Simonson

I had Leonhardt making it over Nick Kasa even before his season ending injury so there is no change in this area over previous iterations. Ausberry may or may not be able to play right away, although he is reportedly close to returning. Rivera and Leonhardt will be the 1-2 punch for now. I still think the team may look for a tight end during cuts to add to the team.


Offensive Line: 8
Donald Penn
Khalif Barnes
Stefen Wisniewski
Austin Howard
Menelik Watson
Gabe Jackson
Kevin Boothe
Matt McCants
Tony Bergstrom (practice squad)
Erle Ladson (practice squad)

Lamar Mady
Jack Cornell
Jarrod Shaw
Dan Kistler

Analysis: The offensive line starters are not yet set with Gabe Jackson looking good at LG and Menelik Watson struggling a bit at RT. Even so, the players the team keeps stay the same for me.

Tony Bergstrom suddenly becomes practice squad eligible and I think that’s a fit. Erle Ladson has flashed at moments and I pick him as the team’s development OT.


Total offensive players: 25

Analysis: I have 3 players tabbed for special teams work, only (Janikowski, King, Condo). With the squad as outlined, the offense would have 25 players – exactly half of the remaining 50 spots on the team.