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Raiders release week 1 depth chart

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Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We are officially into the preparations for the Raiders week one match-up with the Titans next Sunday. And the first depth chart for the regular season is out. Let’s take a look.


  • The first unofficial depth chart prior to the first preseason game had Marshall Newhouse at left tackle. Now that Donald Penn is back, he takes his place at left tackle with Newhouse shifting back to right tackle where he belongs.
  • While Newhouse was filling in for Penn, it was Vadal Alexander playing at right tackle. The depth chart has a slash between Newhouse and Alexander. What that means exactly is unclear, but I fully expect Newhouse to be the full time right tackle. Alexander will be the team’s primary jumbo package tackle.
  • Lee Smith was initially listed as the first team tight end. He is the blocking tight end, so he is on the field a good amount of the time. But in this new depth chart, Jared Cook has moved up to starter, which he was going to be anyway as the team’s number one receiving tight end.
  • Jalen Richard is still listed ahead of DeAndre Washington as the scat back behind Marshawn Lynch.
  • Mario Edwards Jr is listed alongside rookie Eddie Vanderdoes as the starting interior defensive line positions as they had all preseason.
  • Jihad Ward was listed as the primary backup defensive tackle and is now the primary backup defensive end behind Mack.
  • James Cowser was listed as the primary backup behind Mack, but he moves over to strong side linebacker, taking the place of Shilique Calhoun who was waived in the final roster cuts and re-signed to the practice squad.
  • After much moving around in the preseason at the middle linebacker spot, the final depth chart looks just like the first one. With rookie Marquel Lee at middle linebacker and Cory James at weak inside linebacker.
  • The only change in the inside linebacker group is with Jelani Jenkins gone — he was placed on IR and released with an injury settlement — undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow moves up to primary backup on weak side linebacker behind James.
  • The same slash that Newhouse and Alexander has is used for Sean Smith and TJ Carrie. Smith had been demoted in camp to second team and Carrie jumped up to first team. At times Carrie got burnt just as bad as Smith had been. It will be interesting to see if Smith is the full time starter once the season begins. Carrie is expected to line up in the slot.
  • Gareon Conley was the team’s top pick and was expected to take over slot duties at some point and perhaps even push for a starting job. But he was out all of training camp with a shin injury so I wouldn’t expect to see much from him until he gets back up to speed and gets back into football shape.
  • Keith McGill is listed as the primary backup at free safety despite breaking his foot in camp and his expected recovery time not having him back for at least a couple weeks. I would expect rookie standout Shalom Luani to be the primary backup and with the way he has played thus far, he should keep that job.
  • Obi Melifonwu was also injured much of camp and then missed the last practice and final preseason game. If he aggravated his injury, Luani could pull some double duty as the primary reserve safety.
  • Sebastian Janikowski is of course the kicker until/unless we hear otherwise. Reports Monday had he and the Raiders in a contract dispute. Other reports said he was having back issues. If it’s a contract situation, the team has until 1pm today do get something done and his contract is guaranteed. If they cannot work anything out and choose to move on or if his back really is a problem, they would need to make a move to sign someone else. They worked out three kickers over the weekend to prepare for that possibility.