Prior to last week’s preseason game, I put out my first 53-man roster projection. Since then there have been some developments including injuries and game performances that have altered the landscape of my roster projection. So, ahead of the Raiders final preseason game tonight against the Seahawks, I present to you my second and final Raiders 53-man roster projection.
In: Derek Carr, Mike Glennon
Out: Nathan Peterman
Notes: Yeah, we’ve all watched Gruden praise Nathan Peterman on Hard Knocks. But excuse me if that doesn’t sound to me like he’s pumping him up to soften the blow when he inevitably lets him go.
Running back (4)
In: Josh Jacobs, Keith Smith (FB), Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington
Out: Mack Brown, James Butler, Alec Ingold
Practice squad: Alec Ingold
Injured reserve: Doug Martin
Notes: Washington was looking like either a tough cut or having to keep too many backs at the expense of other positions. That was until Martin headed for injured reserve. That clears things up nicely.
Wide receiver (7)
In: Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant, Hunter Renfrow, Dwayne Harris, Keelan Doss
Out: Keon Hatcher, Marcell Ateman, Rico Gafford, De’Mornay Pierson-El
Practice squad: Marcell Ateman, Rico Gafford
Notes: I’d say Doss sneaks in, but he hasn’t been sneaking anywhere this preseason. He’s given the Raiders no choice but to keep him or have another team swipe him up on the waiver wire. Grant also played himself back into a roster spot after being behind rookie Hunter Renfrow early on. Now Renfrow looks like he will have to earn his way back into the offense. Seven receivers is a lot, but Harris plays special teams, so really it’s more like six.
Tight end (3)
In: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Luke Willson
Out: Paul Butler, Derek Carrier, Brandon Barnes
Practice squad: Paul Butler
Notes: Willson hasn’t done much, but neither has Carrier. And Willson is cheaper. By a million dollars.
Offensive line (8)
In: Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Trent Brown, Jordan Devey, David Sharpe, Jonathan Cooper
Out: Brandon Parker, Andre James, Denver Kirkland, Justin Murray, Lester Cotton Sr, Tyler Roemer, Cameron Hunt
Suspended: Richie Incognito (2 games)
Practice squad: Brandon Parker, Andre James
Notes: Obviously cutting a recent third round pick like Parker isn’t great. But Sharpe has simply been consistently better across the board. This line may change quite a bit in the first two weeks. Even if Gabe Jackson were to go on partial season IR, he would have to be on the initial roster before that can happen. Incognito doesn’t count against the roster initially, but will when he returns from suspension after week two.
Offensive players: 24
Defensive line (9)
In: Clelin Ferrell, Josh Mauro, Maurice Hurst, Johnathan Hankins, Corey Liuget, Maxx Crosby, Arden Key, Benson Mayowa, Anthony Rush
Out: Ethan Westbrooks, Quinton Bell, Alex Barrett, Gabe Wright, James Cowser
Practice squad: Quinton Bell, Gabe Wright
Trade bait: P.J. Hall
Injured reserve: Justin Ellis, Eddie Vanderdoes
Notes: This is the toughest area to predict. Nine players is a lot to keep on the roster. Most of those in this scenario are defensive ends. Undrafted Anthony Rush has been a beast this preseason and Liuget looks to have a roster spot as the recent veteran signing who was only out there because he was recovering from injury. That leaves the team with some tough decisions on PJ Hall and Justin Ellis. Getting something in trade for Hall and Ellis landing on IR may actually be the best case scenario.
In: Tahir Whitehead, Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall, Nicholas Morrow, Jason Cabinda, Marquel Lee, Kyle Wilber
Out: Te’Von Coney, Koa Farmer, Bryson Allen-Williams
Practice squad: Te’Von Coney
Notes: This is, again, a lot of players to keep on the roster. And honestly, I don’t see this position as being settled with the initial cutdown. I see them scanning the waiver wire at this position more than any other in order to try and find upgrades at the backup linebacker spots.
In: Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Lamarcus Joyner, Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, Keisean Nixon
Out: Nick Nelson, Isaiah Langley, Dylan Mabin, Joshua Holsey, Markinton Dorleant
Practice squad: Nick Nelson
Suspended: Nevin Lawson (4 games)
Notes: During camp Jon Gruden talked up Nick Nelson. But a lot has happened since then. Primarily that undrafted rookie Keisean Nixon has been locking down opposing receivers. If these projections play out this way, Nelson would become the sixth of the Raiders nine 2018 draft picks not to be on the Raiders 53-man roster this season (others are Hall, Parker, Townsend, Azeem Victor, and Ateman). Meanwhile four undrafted rookies make the team.
In: Karl Joseph, Johnathan Abram, Curtis Riley, Erik Harris
Out: Jordan Richards, Dallin Leavitt
Defensive players: 26
In: K Daniel Carlson, P A.J. Cole, LS Trent Sieg
10-man practice squad
FB Alec Ingold
WR Rico Gafford
WR Marcell Ateman
TE Paul Butler
OT Brandon Parker
C Andre James
DT Gabe Wright
DE Quinton Bell
LB Te’Von Coney
CB Nick Nelson