With today's moves, (cutting Tyler Wilson and Chris "My Book Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies Is Amazing, Buy It Now" Kluwe, and the signing of Antoine McClain and Brian Sanford), the 53 man roster is seemingly set for now, though the Raiders will probably keep their options open until next Sunday versus the Colts. Let's take a look at everyone they kept, position by position.
Welp, here we are at the end of the preseason, and we STILL don't know who will be the starter. With Flynn's recent elbow issues, I suspect Pryor will probably get the nod, but you never know. McGloin was someone I admired last season; he kept Penn State competitive in the wake of all the bullshit going on there, so it's good to have him aboard.
Time for McFadden to prove his worth. If he makes it through the season without getting hurt while also putting up starter worthy numbers, I think the Raiders will keep him around for next season. Jennings ran well as a backup during the preseason, and Stewart looked functional last season, so all in all, this group should work out, as long as D-Mac stays healthy.
Keeping two fullbacks looks strange on paper, but we all know Reece will line up at multiple positons, so it's good to have an extra guy in Jamize who can fill in on occasion. Plus, when McFadden's inevitable injury occurs, Reece could easily split time with Jennings while Jamize steps in at fullback.
I was a bit surprised the Raiders decided to go with just five receivers. Moore, Criner, and Ford all have prior health issues, so a bit of insurance wouldn't hurt. The main problem with this group is obviously the lack of a true #1 guy. Moore and Streater have both shown flashes, but have yet to truly break out. The entire group could be on the chopping block if no one emerges.
Going with four tight ends didn't shock me in the slightest. With Ausberry's injury, it seemed perfectly plausible. I'm glad Richard Gordon's girth is finally gone; Mastrud showed way more in the passing game than Gordon did during his two seasons here, with the same level of blocking talent. I expect one of the rookies to challenge Ausberry for playing time as the year goes on.
Veldheer's pectoral tear really put the team between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully he'll return midway through, but until then, we'll have to make due, unless Reggie McKenzie decides to add someone like Max Starks or J'Marcus Webb, (I'm praying it's Starks), as a stopgap. Watson showed he was capable of handling blindside duties, but having a rookie who's never played a full season at left tackle is still worrisome.
Tony Bergstrom's injury made the addition of Antoine McClain necessary, though Andre Gurode could always play guard. Brisiel seems to have finally beaten whatever injury he was dealing with, so he has no excuses.
Center: Stefen Wisniewski, Andre Gurode (2)
Having Gurode around to mentor Wiz is a nice luxury. Probably the only position on the offensive line that doesn't have major concerns.
Throwing Brian Sanford into the mix won't solve the pass rushing issues the Raiders' defense faces. No one in this group has shown they can consistently get to the quarterback this preseason.The only waiver wire selection I could suggest going after is Jermaine Cunningham, but he would only add to the spotty play.
Though Pat Sims' play in the preseason finale was encouraging, this group has the same worries as the defensive ends, a lack of consistency. I'd encourage Reggie McKenzie to go after Marvin Austin, a guy who has a lot of potential and never got the opportunity to show it on a crowded Giants line.
Moore and Kev Burnett don't look too bad as starters. Maiava will probably double as a backup middle linebacker. Kae Burnett's destination is the special teams unit.
Middle linebackers: Nick Roach (1)
Miles Burris' PUP status is troubling, but Roach looks like a solid player thus far. The linebacking corps is what it is at this point.
Joselio Hanson's departure will hopefully allow Philip Adams a chance to shine, especially since Porter looked brutal against the Saints. Taiwan's main area will be special teams once again.
Probably the most stable position group on the team. Two great leaders in Branch and Woodson, two solid backups in Young and Ross, who's ability to play corner may come in handy if injury to that group arises.
RIP Chris Kluwe. Loss of Twitter entertainment aside, it's nice to see that King's potential is paying off. Hopefully he can hold the ball well enough for Seabass. Jon Condo got ripped off in the Madden rankings, (he's like a 62 when put into the long snapper position; what a crock of shit).
It remains to be seen if everything can come together for success this season. It seemed to me that the team was holding a lot back during the preseason schedule, (for instance, not using Marcel Reece enough, the cupcake play of the defense, etc). There's so much potential talent here, but the current prospects aren't quite satisfying enough. For now, it's the waiting game.