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The Raiders announce initial 53

The Raiders, like all NFL teams, cut their team down from 75 to 53 players, today.

Here are the players that initially made the cut. It should be said, however, that some of these players may not be on the squad, still, a week from now. The Raiders will likely make at least a couple of player claims off waivers and will have to make corresponding cuts if that happens.

Some analysis below:

Quarterback: 3
Matt Schaub
Derek Carr
Matt McGloin

Fullback: 2
Marcel Reece
Jamize Olawale

Running Back: 3
Maurice Jones-Drew
Darren McFadden
Latavius Murray

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

Tight End: 3
David Ausberry
Mychal Rivera
Brian Leonhardt

Offensive Line: 9
Donald Penn
Khalif Barnes
Stefen Wisniewski
Austin Howard
Menelik Watson
Gabe Jackson
Kevin Boothe
Matt McCants
Tony Bergstrom

Defensive Line: 8
Justin Tuck
Antonio Smith
Pat Sims
LaMarr Woodley
C.J. Wilson
Stacy McGee
Justin Ellis
Shelby Harris

Linebacker: 6
Khalil Mack
Nick Roach
Sio Moore
Miles Burris
Kaluka Maiava
Kaelin Burnett

Cornerback: 7
Tarell Brown
Carlos Rogers
Chimdi Chekwa
Keith McGill
TJ Carrie
Neiko Thorpe
Taiwan Jones

Safety: 4
Tyvon Branch
Charles Woodson
Jonathan Dowling
Usama Young


Special Teams:
Sebastian Janikowski
Marquette King
Jon Condo


Analysis: No real surprises in the cuts. In fact, I correctly projected 52 of the 53 players in my final projections. The only one I missed was Tony Bergstrom over Jeremy Stewart and that is not a huge shocker. Bergstrom was developing well in camp and was working on becoming a backup center as well as a guard.

The Raiders have good depth at most every position. They are lacking at tight end and have little depth at running back, although with Jones-Drew, McFadden, and Murray they could have a very good 3-headed rushing monster.

The team has good depth at cornerback, going with 7 (although Taiwan Jones is more of an emergency CB than someone the team will count on). If training camp is any indication, the Raiders are looking to get better-than-expected returns from Chimdi Chekwa, Neiko Thorpe, and rookie TJ Carrie.

All 3 remaining quarterbacks made the squad, as expected. The team has 3 guys they are comfortable starting if needed.

With Brice Butler and Denarius Moore stepping up during games and Greg Little becoming a complete non-factor, it made sense that Little would be among the cuts.


From here, we will see who the Raiders target on the waiver wire or in free agency. The first game is right around the corner, September 7th versus the New York Jets.