Now that the Las Vegas Raiders have a preseason game under their belt, let’s take a look at an updated 53-man roster projection with the information we gained over the weekend. Below is a breakdown of who is safe, on the bubble and likely on their way out for each position group.
Safe: Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer and Aidan O’Connell
On the bubble: none
On the way out: Chase Garbers
I wouldn’t expect any drama here over the next couple of weeks. O’Connell looked sharp against the 49ers and maybe he pushes Hoyer for the backup spot, but I’d be pretty surprised if Hoyer isn’t on the Week 1 roster. As for Garbers, he might land on the practice squad, but there isn’t room for him on the 53-man. The best-case scenario for him is to use these next two weeks as an audition to get picked up by another team.
Safe: Josh Jacobs, Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden and Jakob Johnson
On the bubble: Damien Williams, Brittain Brown, Sincere McCormick and Darwin Thompson
On the way out: Austin Walter (IR)
The big clog here is when or if Jacobs is going to show up. It seems like he will be there for Week 1, but his absence muddies the waters when it comes to projecting which running backs will make the team. The Raiders kept six backs on the roster last year so, assuming my read on who’s ‘safe’ is correct, that leaves four guys to compete for one spot. Brown would be the favorite, in my opinion, but he missed practice and the game last week, so he needs to get back on the field to win the job.
Safe: Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow, DeAndre Carter and Tre Tucker
On the bubble: Phillip Dorsett, Keelan Cole Jr., Cam Sims and Kristian Wilkerson
On the way out: Isaiah Zuber, Chris Lacy and DJ Turner (IR)
Something that stood out to me on Sunday was that Carter wasn’t dressed on the sideline, like most other guys who are ‘safe’, while Dorsett got quite a bit of playing time in the game. That tells me the latter is on the bubble and I’d be shocked if the Raiders cut Tucker after taking him in the third round. They only kept five wideouts last year, so this position group might be set unless the coaching staff changes it up from last year and go with more receivers than running backs.
Safe: Austin Hooper and Michael Mayer
On the bubble: Jesper Horsted, Cole Fotheringham, Jacob Hollister and John Samuel Shenker
On the way out: None
According to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed, Horsted missed practice on Friday and didn’t play in the game on Sunday which keeps him on the bubble. Also, Fotheringham had a heck of a performance versus San Francisco with five catches on five targets for 71 yards, which might give him a leg up on the competition. However, Las Vegas could use a blocking tight end so that might be more important than any statistics.
Safe: Kolton Miller, Jermaine Eluemunor, Justin Herron and Thayer Munford
On the bubble: Dalton Wagner
On the way out: Brandon Parker (IR)
Parker’s injury takes some of the drama out of the battle at offensive tackle as now the biggest question is if the Raiders are going to keep four or five players at the position. Eluemunor and Munford are still very much competing with each other for a starting spot, but I’d expect both to make the team. Wagner played well last Sunday and I’d expect him to at least be on the practice squad, assuming no other team picks him up if he’s cut.
Safe: Dylan Parham, Alex Bars and Greg Van Roten
On the bubble: Netane Muti and McClendon Curtis
On the way out: Vitaliy Gurman
Muti filled in when Parham went down last weekend and was very impressive with an elite 94.0 PFF grade that led the team’s offensive linemen. But the entire unit played pretty well so he’ll have to replicate that effort to stay above water. It’s worth noting that Curtis (seven snaps) and Gurman (five snaps) barely saw the field.
Safe: Andre James
On the bubble: Hronis Grasu and Jordan Meredith
On the way out: None
Personally, I thought Grasu played worse than his 83.7 PFF grade would indicate, but regardless, Meredith outperformed him with an 86.1 mark. The latter also took some snaps at guard and that versatility could give him a leg up over Grasu, who only played center.
Safe: Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, Jordan Willis and Tyree Wilson
On the bubble: Malcolm Koonce and Isaac Rochell
On the way out: Adam Plant, David Agoha and George Tarlas
There’s only one spot available here and I could even see the Raiders just rolling with four edges on the active roster and stashing one more on the practice squad. Rochell looked pretty good against the 49ers with a sack, a couple of pressures and a 77.7 PFF run defense grade. Koonce had a solid showing as a pass-rusher too, but my gut says they’ll look to trade him by the end of camp. He’s still not a good enough run defender, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders try and get something for him rather than cutting him.
Safe: Jerry Tillery, Bilal Nichols, John Jenkins, Byron Young and Neil Farrell Jr.
On the bubble: Matthew Butler, Adam Butler and Nesta Jade Silvera
On the way out: None
To be honest, I still don’t have a great read on what the coaching staff is going to do at defensive tackle. Silvera got a lot of hype during the joint practices with San Francisco, but he was pretty quiet during the game while Jenkins and Farrell Jr. looked sharp.
Safe: Divine Deablo, Robert Spillane and Curtis Bolton
On the bubble: Luke Masterson, Darien Butler, Amari Burney, Kana’i Mauga and Drake Thomas
On the way out: Darius Harris (IR)
Bolton already had a role on the team as a special teamer and forcing a fumble that led to a touchdown last Sunday should cement his spot on the roster. To me, Masterson is close to being safe while Butler, Burney and Thomas are locked in a tight competition. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Las Vegas keeps just four linebackers to begin the year.
Safe: Marcus Epps, Tre’von Moehrig and Roderic Teamer
On the bubble: Isaiah Pola-Mao, Christopher Smith II and Jaquan Johnson
On the way out: Jaydon Grant
Teamer is another special teams guy, and he played really well against the 49ers with two defensive stops on the two passes thrown his way, via PFF. Meanwhile, Pola-Mao struggled with a sub-par 55.6 PFF grade and Johnson had two missed tackles while allowing a 22-yard completion, casting some doubt on their roster statuses.
Safe: Marcus Peters, Nate Hobbs and Jakorian Bennett
On the bubble: David Long Jr., Brandon Facyson, Tyler Hall, Amik Robertson, Sam Webb and Duke Shelley
On the way out: Ike Brown, Bryce Cosby, Azizi Hearn and Jordan Perryman (IR)
Oh boy, this is a ‘your guess is as good as mine’ type of situation. Long Jr. and Facyson getting injured last week make it hard to get read on the cornerback battle, but Long Jr. was at least back in practice on Wednesday, per Reed. Hopefully, we’ll get some more clarity this week.
Safe: Daniel Carlson (K), A.J. Cole (P), Jacob Bobenmoyer (LS)
On the bubble: None
On the way out: None.