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Raiders roster: Updated 53-man projection after Rams game

Picture gets clearer with 1 preseason game to go

NFL: Preseason-Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams
Tre Tucker, Keelan Cole Sr.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

With two preseason games down and just one to go while training camp begins to wrap up, the picture for the Las Vegas Raiders’ 53-man roster is starting to become clearer. Last week, I took a stab at projecting who’s safe, on the bubble and on the way out, so today we’ll do the same and cover any changes from last time.

Players whose name is listed in bold font means their status has changed from last week.


Safe: Jimmy Garoppolo and Aidan O’Connell

On the bubble: Brian Hoyer

On the way out: Chase Garbers

After another impressive performance from O’Connell and an underwhelming outing from Hoyer, the latter is officially on the hot seat. The rookie looks like he has a command of the offense, and the 38-year-old veteran’s role on the team was to serve as a safeguard to prevent having to throw the young QB in the fire if Garoppolo goes down. However, it doesn’t look like that will be necessary given how O’Connell has played. Hoyer stays on the bubble for now but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s left off of my final 53-man projection.

Running Back/Fullback

Safe: Josh Jacobs, Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden and Jakob Johnson

On the bubble: Damien Williams and Brittain Brown

On the way out: Austin Walter (IR), Sincere McCormick and Darwin Thompson

The big change here is McCormick and Thompson sliding down into the ‘on the way out’ category. Those two only got three carries combined against the Rams which seems to be a clear sign that they aren’t in the coaching staff’s plans for the regular season, though I could see McCormick landing on the practice squad. We still don’t really know what’s going on with Brown, other than that he’s injured, but he hasn’t seen the field yet and that gives Williams an advantage between the two of them. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders just rolled with the five guys who are ‘safe’.

Wide Receivers

Safe: Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow, DeAndre Carter and Tre Tucker

On the bubble: Phillip Dorsett, Keelan Cole Jr. and Kristian Wilkerson

On the way out: Isaiah Zuber, Chris Lacy and Cam Sims

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Kristian Wilkerson
Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

While Sims did haul in a touchdown in Los Angeles, he’s getting severely out-paced by the other wideouts fighting for roster spots. Dorsett had a pretty impressive showing last Saturday with four catches on five targets for 76 yards, and Cole was sharp as well with five grabs for 60 yards on the six balls thrown his way. Wilkerson was also productive—five catches, 54 yards and a touchdown—and he’s made a few nice blocks in the running game to make a competitive three-horse race for the sixth roster spot out wide.

Tight Ends

Safe: Austin Hooper and Michael Mayer

On the bubble: Jesper Horsted, Cole Fotheringham and Jacob Hollister

On the way out: John Samuel Shenker

There isn’t too much change here as Shenker dropping down is the only movement, and the only reason for that is he’s been playing more fullback than tight end—47 snaps to six. Las Vegas likely won’t keep a second fullback with Jakob Johnson on the roster, but Shenker will be a good candidate for the practice squad. Similar to Brown, Horsted’s absence is a bit of a mystery and he needs to get back on the field as Fotheringham and Hollister have been taking his reps.

Offensive Tackles

Safe: Kolton Miller, Jermaine Eluemunor, Justin Herron and Thayer Munford

On the bubble: Dalton Wagner

On the way out: Brandon Parker (IR)

No changes here as Eluemunor, Herron and Munford all played well against the Rams. Wagner did struggle though with an overall PFF grade of 37.9 last week, but he’s at least in a good spot where there’s no one behind him that he has to worry about. The undrafted free agent just needs to have a strong week to show the coaching staff why he’s worth keeping a fifth offensive tackle.


Safe: Dylan Parham, Alex Bars and Greg Van Roten

On the bubble: Netane Muti and McClendon Curtis

On the way out: Vitaliy Gurman

NFL: AUG 19 Preseason - Raiders at Rams
Netane Muti
Photo by Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I get the feeling that Curtis is close to being ‘on the way out’ as he’s only played 15 snaps in the Raiders' two preseason games combined. However, Muti struggled last weekend which leaves the competition open. Also, since Eluemunor, Hronis Grasu and Jordan Meredith can all play guard, it wouldn’t be much of a shock if both Muti and Curtis get left off the roster.


Safe: Andre James and Jordan Meredith

On the bubble: Hroniss Grasu

On the way out: None

I bumped Meredith up to the ‘safe’ category for the simple fact that he took snaps at both guard spots and center last week. It also helps that he hasn’t allowed a pressure and has a 74.3 PFF grade so far in the preseason. As mentioned above, Grasu still has a good chance to make the team given the versatility he’s shown in the past, but he has been more one-dimensional this month by taking all of his snaps at 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

Another position where there are no changes from last week, but I did find it interesting that Koonce got the start in Los Angeles while Jones was injured. Could that mean Koonce is higher on the depth chart than expected, or was the coaching staff trying to give him an opportunity to build up his résumé to trade him? Time will tell but he did play well with a couple of pressures while Rochell didn’t get any action.

Defensive Tackle

Safe: Jerry Tillery, Bilal Nichols, John Jenkins, Byron Young and Neil Farrell Jr.

On the bubble: Matthew Butler and Adam Butler

On the way out: Nesta Jade Silvera

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
Adam Butler
Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

After another game to forget where he failed to log a pressure and posted a sub-par PFF run defense grade, I think Silvera’s goose is cooked. He’ll probably land on the practice squad but he’s been too quiet during the preseason to warrant a roster spot. That leaves the Butlers to battle it out for the final spot, and I’ll give the advantage to Adam heading into the final week of camp.


Safe: Divine Deablo, Robert Spillane, Curtis Bolton and Luke Masterson

On the bubble: Darien Butler, Amari Burney and Drake Thomas

On the way out: Darius Harris (IR), Darien Butler (IR) and Kana’i Mauga

Mauga has already been cut once this month and barely played last weekend (11 defensive snaps) while Thomas led the team in tackles. The latter is also the Raiders’ second-highest-graded linebacker in the preseason (74.9) while Burney (48.8) is last. Masterson had another solid showing last Saturday and seems to have cleaned up his tackling form with zero misses so far, which makes me more confident he’ll make the team.


Safe: Marcus Epps, Tre’von Moehrig and Roderic Teamer

On the bubble: Isaiah Pola-Mao and Christopher Smith II

On the way out: Jaydon Grant and Jaquan Johnson

The only change here is sliding Johnson down. I thought he might have a chance to make it as a special teamer, but he’s only taken nine reps on special teams in both preseason games combined. That, plus an ugly 41.9 PFF defensive grade over the last two weeks makes me think this is his last week in the Silver and Black.


Safe: Marcus Peters, Nate Hobbs, Jakorian Bennett, David Long Jr. and Duke Shelley

On the bubble: Brandon Facyson, Tyler Hall and Sam Webb

On the way out: Ike Brown, Bryce Cosby, Azizi Hearn, Jordan Perryman (IR) and Amik Robertson

Cornerback is still a jumbled mess but we got some more clarity on the position group. Robertson slides down after allowing three catches for 38 yards on 15 coverage snaps, including a back-shoulder throw where he turned the wrong direction and gave up a 25-yard gain. He’s another guy who I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders try to trade this week. I thought Long Jr. and Shelley played well enough to cement their spots on the roster, and Hall has been playing some safety which could increase his odds of earning a spot.


Safe: Daniel Carlson (K), A.J. Cole (P), Jacob Bobenmoyer (LS)

On the bubble: None

On the way out: None