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Raiders projected training camp depth chart: Defense, Special Teams

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The defense on this team could offer a lot of surprises with new head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. There are quite a few new faces and with them new combinations of personnel. Here is my projection of the Raiders defensive depth chart as training camp starts.


DE: Justin Tuck, C.J. Wilson, Denico Autry, Gary Wilkins
DE: Mario Edwards Jr, Benson Mayowa, Max Valles, Shelby Harris
DT: Dan Williams, Ricky Lumpkin, Stacy McGee
NT: Justin Ellis, Leon Orr

Much like the offensive line, there will be players on the defensive line who will move around. Though where the line up will have more to do with the set they're in. In particular C.J. Wilson, Mario Edwards, and Dan Williams are scheme versatile. Wilson will play both DE and DT along with Edwards. Williams will line up at both DT positions.

SLB: Khalil Mack, Malcolm Smith, Josh Shirley
MLB: Curtis Lofton, Ben Heeney, Spencer Hadley, Chase Williams
WLB: Sio Moore, Ray Ray Armstrong, Neiron Ball, Horace Miller

Mack is still technically a linebacker, but he will move back and forth between that and defensive end. When playing DE, he has typically replaced among the linebackers by Malcolm Smith. Ray Ray Armstrong has been running first team at weakside linebacker this offseason, but Sio Moore is expected back by training camp and should resume his first team duties at that time.

CB: D.J. Hayden, Keith McGill, James Dockery, Ras-I Dowling, Rob Daniel
CB: T.J. Carrie, Neiko Thorpe, Chimdi Checkwa, Dexter McDonald, SaQwan Edwards

The starters have been established with Hayden and Carrie leading the way. Coming in to play with the first team when Carrie was a bit banged up in minicamp was McGill. He will be the team's nickel corner. From there, the frontrunners for the final spots are Thorpe and Dockery.

SS: Charles Woodson, Larry Asante, Tevin McDonald
FS: Nate Allen, Brandian Ross, Jonathan Dowling, Jimmy Hall

Woodson and Allen are the first team safeties. Firmly right behind them are Asante at SS and Ross at FS. Jonathan Dowling played well in minicamp and will make a strong push for a roster spot.

Special Teams

K: Sebastian Janikowski, Giorgio Tavecchio
P: Marquette King, Steven Clark
LS: Jon Condo
PR: T.J. Carrie, Trindon Holliday, Austin Willis, Amari Cooper
KR: Trindon Holliday, Taiwan Jones, Austin Willis, Latavius Murray, Trent Richardson

It would appear Janikowski and King have the kicker and punter spots locked up. The Raiders are also giving King another shot at kick holding duties. The players listed as punt and kick returners are the entire groups who fielded punts in minicamp. Carrie was the punt returner last season and Holliday was signed as the team's hopeful kick returner.

See the depth chart for the Offense