Wherein I Take a Stab at the 53 Man Roster

No real preamble here...let's do this!


Projected QB Depth:

 1. JaMarcus Russell

 2. Jeff Garcia

 3. Bruce Gradkowski

Released:  Charlie Frye

I think Frye is probably better overall than Gradkowski, but it seems to me that Bruce has had the better camp.


Projected RB Depth:

1. Darren McFadden

2. Michael Bush

3. Justin Fargas

Released: Louis Rankin

Instead of 1, 2, 3, the team will sell the depth chart as 1A, 1B and 1C.  And that might be true.  But if McFadden doesn’t get the ball in some form 20-23 times a game, together with 15-18 carries for Bush, something is seriously wrong.  I wish we could keep Rankin as the third back, but there’s just no way the Raiders cut Fargas loose. 


Projected fullback depth:

1. Oren O’Neal

2. Gary Russell 

Released:  Luke Lawton, Marcel Reese

O’Neal is one of the best in the business when he’s healthy, which everyone assures us he is.  I think Russell stays as FB because of his versatility.  Lawton has done nothing to show he should remain on the team and Reese is simply the odd man out.


Projected OT depth:


Starting LT:  Mario Henderson

Starting RT: Cornell Green

Backup LT: Seth Wand

Backup RT: James Marten


Released:  Erik Pears

Injured:  Khalif Barnes


So freaking glad to see Henderson coming into his own.  I’ve been a big booster of his since the start and I think he could be a legit Pro Bowl tackle next year if he keeps progressing.  Cornell Green disgusts me and I think he’s one of the 3 or 4 worst starting right tackles in the league.  Still, he can run block tolerably well and is probably the best choice to start with Barnes’ injury.  I’m really disappointed that Erik Pears hasn’t panned out.  I had high hopes because he was a veteran with zone blocking experience.  I don’t know if I’ve read one positive thing about his camp performance and I’ll be shocked if he finds a roster spot.   Wand and Marten have been good enough to sit on the bench, though Wand will probably go when Barnes returns.  And then does Khalif play on the right side despite not wanting to or sit on the bench behind Mario?  Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.



Projected Guard depth:


Starting LG:  Robert Gallery

Backup LG:  Paul McQuistan


Starting RG:  Cooper Carlisle

Backup RG: Marcus Johnson


Relased:  Jonathan Compas, Mark Wilson


With his move from tackle to guard, Robert Gallery immediately vaulted with his play into a league with Alan Faneca as one of the best at that position.  Carlisle’s tendency to take penalties this pre-season disturbs me, but no one has played well enough to unseat him.  McQuistan is a solid backup.  I picked Johnson at random because he, Compas and Wilson could all be the same person as far as I know.  I have heard at least a little bit of positive about him.


Projected center depth:

1. Samson Satele

2. John Wade

Released:  Chris Morris


Satele is pretty clearly the starter here though Wade has played well enough to give me hope that he can come in and play if Samson goes down.  Morris is a non-entity.




Projected TE depth:


Starting::  Zach Miller

2nd:  Brandon Myers


Released:  Tony Stewart, Darrell Strong


The future is brighter than the sun for Miller and Myers.  They catch AND block.  Watch out, league.



Projected Wide Receiver depth:


I’ll be listing this as of now with Chaz out.  Obviously when he comes back, he’ll be the #1.


1. Darrius Heyward-Bey

2. Javon Walker

3. Louis Murphy

4. Johnnie Lee Higgins

5. Will Franklin


Released:  Shawn Bayes, Jonathan Holland, Nick Miller, Samie Parker, Todd Watkins


I think we’ve all talked about the receivers so much that there’s really not much more left for me to say.  Don’t worry, Nick Miller WILL make the practice squad, if not beat out Franklin for the last receiver spot.


Projected DE depth:


Starting LE:  Greg Ellis

Backup LE:  Matt Shaughnessey


Starting RE:  Jay Richardson

Backup RE:  Trevor Scott

Released:  Greyson Gunheim


Richardson starting is almost certainly wishful thinking on my part, since Scott is apparently an Al Davis project.  Scott could be a great situational pass rusher, but his run stopping ability is currently nil.  Richardson has the solid, all-around skills you want in a base DE in the 4-3.  Shaughnessey has been underwhelming in camp and I’d honestly rather see Gunheim as the backup while Matt spends a year on the practice squad.  It could happen, but I don’t expect it.



Projected DT depth:


Starters:  Tommy Kelly, Gerard Warren 

Backups:  William Joseph, Desmond Bryant


Released:  Ryan Boschetti, Terdell Sands


Kelly and Warren are entrenched as the starters and if they’re both on their game at the same time, they can be a dominant duo.  Their inconsistency maddens me.  Joseph is a dependable guy at backup and Bryant has played his ass off.  Boschetti is worthless.  Terdell?  Well, honestly, I don’t know if I really think he’ll get cut, but it felt really good to type that.


Projected LB depth:


Starters:  Kirk Morrison, Ricky Brown, Thomas Howard

 Backups:  Jon Alston, Slade Norris, Napoleon Harris, Isaiah Ekejiuba


Released:  Morlon Greenwood, David Nixon, Sam Williams


If you need me to explain the linebacker situation at this point, you haven’t been paying attention.


Projected CB depth:


Starters:  Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson

Nickel:  Stanford Routt

4th and 5th:  John Bowie and Justin Miller


Released:  Darrick Brown, Jason Horton


Stanford Routt continues to plague Raider Nation.  Oh well.  No other better alternatives appear to be out there.



Projected Safety depth:


Starting Strong Safety:  Tyvon Branch  

Backup Strong Safety:   Michael Mitchell


Starting Free Safety:  Hiram Eugene 

Backup Free Safety:  Michael Huff


Released:  Rashad Baker, Jerome Boyd


I personally think Huff is going to get (and probably deserves) one last chance this year, but I also wouldn’t be startled at all to see him cut loose and Baker kept.  


Special teams:

Jon Condo:  Long snapper

Sebastian Janikowski:  Kicker

Shane Lechler:  Punter


Released:  Ricky Schmitt, punter


Well, there you have it….almost. 

 If you do the math, you’ll see I only have 52 players listed as being kept.  I wanted to ask your opinion about the last one:  What do you think?  Will they carry Rankin on the active roster just for the sake of not letting him go?  Will they start the season with 6 WR’s until Chaz returns?  Maybe 3 tight ends or fullbacks?  Maybe 5 ends or tackles or safeties on defense?  Or 6 cornerbacks?  Thoughts? 

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