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

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

We move to the defensive side of the ball as we fill out the roster. Just as the offensive roster was completed with the line, the trenches are where we begin on the defense.

Starters

Dan Williams – 7th year

Mario Edwards Jr – 2nd year

Denico Autry – 3rd year

Jihad Ward – Rookie (D-2)

Dan Williams had a great first season with the Raiders. He is the anchor to this line, able to start either at nose tackle in the 3-4 or 4-3. Alongside him most of the time will be Mario Edwards who can play defensive end in either set. Also starting at DE is Denico Autry who came on strong late last season. Alongside Williams on the interior in the 4-3 would be Jihad Ward as the 3-tech DT.

Reserves

Justin Ellis – 3rd year

Damontre Moore – 4th year

Leon Orr – 1st year

Stacy McGee – 4th year

There is potentially some good depth here. Ellis is the backup nose tackle and can play alongside Williams in short yardage situations. Damontre Moore is a wildcard. The former third round pick is on his third team in just his fourth season. The team would like to use him as a situational pass rusher. After that it’s McGee, who has been hanging around the bubble his entire career and the undrafted Orr who spend most of his rookie season on the practice squad.

Position battle

Leon Orr vs Stacy McGee

I’ll be the first to admit three reserve defensive tackles seems a bit unlikely. It’s possible these two will be battling for one spot on the roster. McGee is entering the final year on his rookie contract, hoping to earn a second one. Orr impressed the Raiders last season and was called up to the regular season roster late. His main issue has always been maturity. If he can get out of his own way, he can give McGee a run for his money. If not, he will be cut with a spot available on the practice squad if he isn’t signed elsewhere.

Practice squad

Darius Latham – Rookie (UDFA)

Greg Townsend Jr – Rookie (UDFA)

Latham has been getting great reviews so far. He will have his shot to leapfrog McGee and Orr for a spot on the roster, but the practice squad is probably his best hope. Townsend is a second generation Raider raising his odds of sticking around just as George Atkinson III has.

The rest

Branden Jackson – Rookie (UDFA)

Drew Iddings – Rookie (UDFA)

53-man roster projection (31/53)

Quarterbacks (3)

Derek Carr

Matt McGloin

Connor Cook

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

Defensive line (8)

Dan Williams

Mario Edwards Jr

Denico Autry

Jihad Ward

Justin Ellis

Damontre Moore

Leon Orr

Stacy McGee

Bubble watch

RB Roy Helu Jr

TE Gabe Holmes

OL Matt McCants

Practice squad (7/10)

RB Jalen Richard

WR Max McCaffrey

WR Jaydon Mickens

OL Denver Kirkland

OL Oni Omoile

DT Darius Latham

DE Greg Townsend Jr