There has been a lot of turnover in Oakland this offseason. With the new coaching staff, many of last year’s starters were either cut or traded. There are still a few players on the roster who started last year, but may not this year.
Here are the five starters from a year ago who could see their snaps go elsewhere.
Mario Edwards Jr
Several times this offseason Jon Gruden has mentioned the injury issues with Edwards as his reasoning for drafting two 3-tech DT’s in the draft and signing another late in the offseason in Frostee Rucker. On the flip side, Gruden has raved about rookie fifth round pick Maurice Hurst, as have several other players and coaches. Edwards has been working as first team defensive tackle this offseason, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hurst bypassed him by training camp.
Last season Roberts started seven games. Some as the slot receiver, some on the outside. He was the next man up behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Now he is buried on the depth chart on the outside looking in. The team signed Jordy Nelson and let Crabtree go, then acquired Martavis Bryant in a trade with the Steelers on draft day. There were rumors they were shopping Roberts as well, but nothing materialized.
The rookie third round pick started 13 games last season. Though you probably couldn’t tell most of the time as he was busy locked up with an offensive lineman while the running back ran by or the pass was delivered. Even if he hadn’t torn his ACL in the season finale, he would be in jeopardy of losing his starting job. If he can return to full strength, he might be able to earn some snaps in rotation with Justin Ellis at nose tackle.
Despite going undrafted out of a Division III school, Morrow was easily the most impactful rookie last season. He ended up starting five games late in the season and showed a lot of promise. But now he finds himself trying to fight his way up the depth chart again, with newcomers Emmanuel Lamur and Kyle Wilber getting snaps ahead of him.
Returning to the Raiders on a one-year deal, the 35-year-old safety is here because he’s familiar with Guenther’s system. Meanwhile, Marcus Gilchrist is drawing some rave reviews and could potentially earn a starting job before all is said and done. If the team likes what they see from both Nelson and Gilchrist, they could both take the field in the nickel defense. Gruden has also liked what he’s seen from Erik Harris. And if Obi Melifonwu can figure things out, he could also be in the mix.