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2016 Raiders depth chart breakdown, 53-man roster projection, position battles: Offensive line

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In the fifth installment of this series, we look at the offensive line and add them to those we see making the final 53.

It has been said to be one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. That could turn out to be true. But if you go by their performance late last season, it’s not a sure thing. The struggled in all phases over the final eight games, leaving some cause for concern.


LT Donald Penn – 11th year

LG Kelechi Osemele – 5th year

C Rodney Hudson – 6th year

RG Gabe Jackson – 3rd year

RT Menelik Watson – 4th year

I agree with that assessment from the standpoint of the interior line. The addition of Kelechi Osemele is huge for this unit. He is a top guard in the NFL and his addition shores up a very large hole in the line. He joins Hudson who was signed to a big deal last offseason, and Jackson who moves from left to right. At left tackle, the Raiders brought back 33-year-old Donald Penn on a two-year deal after letting him test his market value in free agency. Watson currently has the edge at right tackle and should he be able to stay healthy, he will be given every opportunity to keep it. But that’s a big question mark for him.


Austin Howard – 7th year

Jon Feliciano – 2nd year

Vadal Alexander – Rookie (D-7)

Howard took over for an injured Watson prior to last season and started there until he too was injured late. Feliciano has been working a lot at center after playing guard as a rookie last season. Alexander was the team’s seventh round pick. He is a reserve tackle/guard.

Position battle

Menelik Watson vs Austin Howard

Should Watson go out with an injury again, or simply not perform at a high level, Howard is right there, ready to step up and take it back. Watson is in the final year of his rookie contract, so this is the last shot the former second round pick will get to live up to his potential. Choosing who to list between these two as the starter and as the reserve was not simple. A lot can happen between now and the regular season, making this arguably the biggest battle on the team. Barring a another serious injury sending Watson to IR again, both of them will be on the 53-man roster come September.

Bubble watch

Matt McCants – 4th year

The past three seasons, McCants has hung around as a decent fill-in option both at tackle and guard Currently he has been working as the reserve left tackle. But should the team lose Donald Penn as the starter, Kelechi Osemele could move over from his left guard spot as he did with the Ravens last season. And at right tackle, that’s between Watson and Howard. . If the players above all stay healthy, McCants may end up the odd man out.

Practice squad

Denver Kirkland – Rookie (UDFA)

Oni Omoile – Rookie (UDFA)

Kirkland is a massive 6-5, 340 pounder who was highly touted as one of the top undrafted players. He has been lining up at guard in the offseason, but could also play tackle. Omoile is the cousin of Kelechi Osemele. He has been alternating between center and guard which could make for a valuable member of the scout team.

The rest

Terran Vaughn – Rookie (UDFA)

Ross Burbank – Rookie (UDFA)

Mitch Bell – 1st year

Torian White – Rookie (UDFA)

53-man roster projection (23/53)

Quarterbacks (3)

Derek Carr

Matt McGloin

Connor Cook


Wide receiver breakdown, position battlesLevi Damien

Running back breakdown, position battlesLevi Damien

Running backs (4)

Latavius Murray

DeAndre Washington

Jamize Olawale

Taiwan Jones

Wide receivers (5)

Amari Cooper

Michael Crabtree

Seth Roberts

Andre Holmes

Joe Hansley

Tight end (3)

Clive Walford

Lee Smith

Mychal Rivera

Offensive line (8)

Donald Penn

Kelechi Osemele

Rodney Hudson

Gabe Jackson

Menelik Watson

Austin Howard

Jon Feliciano

Vadal Alexander

Bubble watch

RB Roy Helu Jr

TE Gabe Holmes

OL Matt McCants

Practice squad (5/10)

RB Jalen Richard

WR Max McCaffrey

WR Jaydon Mickens

OL Denver Kirkland

OL Oni Omoile