Analyzing the final 53


QUARTERBACKS (3)–Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, Andrew Walter.

Last call: When (and if) JaMarcus Russell signs, he receives a two-week exemption before the Raiders decide whether or not to carry four quarterbacks.

RUNNING BACKS (5)–LaMont Jordan, Justin Griffith, Adimchinobe Echemandu, Justin Fargas, Oren O’Neal.

Last call: It was decided O’Neal had too much potential to lose, particularly as the sort of blocker Tom Rathman loves. Zack Crockett could have been kept on the roster until Dominic Rhodes came off the suspended list, but would have been entitled to a full season of pay as a vested veteran if on the roster Week 1.

Michael Bush will be evaluated and has a four-week window to return, which begins Week 7.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)–Ronald Curry, Jerry Porter, Mike Williams, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Travis Taylor.

Last call: No surprises here. Alvis Whitted and Carlos Francis lost their speed scholarships, and Chris McFoy is this year’s Will Buchanon _ watch for him on the practice squad.

TIGHT ENDS (3)–Zach Miller, John Madsen, Tony Stewart.

Last call: O.J. Santiago, James Adkisson . . . Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)_Barry Sims, Robert Gallery, Jake Grove, Jeremy Newberry, Cooper Carlisle, Cornell Green, Chris Morris, Mario Henderson, Paul McQuistan.

Last call: Coach Lane Kiffin noted early on that Kevin Boothe was not a system fit, but for him to not even make the 53-man roster after starting 14 times last season is a surprise. Morris apparently fits the system better and has played extensively as a guard. Chad Slaughter missed much of training camp with a calf injury. Mark Wilson was a longshot. With Grove, Newberry and Morris available at center, there was no room for Jesse Boone.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)–Derrick Burgess, Warren Sapp, Terdell Sands, Tommy Kelly, Jay Richardson, Tyler Brayton, Chris Clemons, Gerard Warren.

Last call: Ever hear of Michigan cornerback Brad Cochran? The Raiders took him in the third round of the 1986 draft and he didn’t make the team. Quentin Moses was the first of three third-round draft picks, No. 65 overall. He was supposedly in contention to be a starter until late in camp and now he’s gone, the first time Oakland has dumped a third-round pick since Cochran.

It could be Moses was outplayed by two players _ Richardson drafted two rounds later out of Ohio State, and Clemons, who played extensively in the preseason as a nickel rusher and can also play linebacker.

Maybe Richardson plays better than most third-rounders and it doesn’t look so bad. But cutting the first pick of the third round means you made a mistake.

The Raiders apparently felt Anttaj Hawthorne was as good as he was going to get, while believing Warren can recapture at least some of the skill that made him a standout two years ago in Denver _ once he gets in shape.

Dave Tollefson was a longshot. Brayton’s shift to tackle probably saved him. Coaches love the guy.

LINEBACKERS (7)–Sam Williams, Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, Robert Thomas, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Ricky Brown, Jon Condo.

Last call: Kyle Shotwell and Kurt Campbell were foregone conclusions.

According to Madden ’07, Ekejiuba rates as the NFL’s worst player. The Raiders think enough of him to keep him on the roster even though he may not be available for a month. Brown’s special teams skills kept him around. Condo is strictly a long-snapper.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (11)–Nnamdi Asomugha, Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, Stuart Schweigert, Stanford Routt, Chris Carr, Duane Starks, B.J. Ward, Hiram Eugene, John Bowie, Chris Johnson.

Last call: The Raiders apparently didn’t believe Donovin Darius could hold up physically or simply didn’t have it any more. They didn’t feel that way at first. This is what Rob Ryan had to say about Darius on Aug. 7:

“I mean, first of all with Donovin Darius you’re talking about a guy that’s got an aura about him. He’s a man, he walks on that football field, he demands respect . . . When he’s on that field, people are scared to death of him. And so we like that intimidation factor. Hey, he’s a good, clean player but he plays the game hard like the Raiders do. He’s got to learn our system and fit in. But trust me, all defenses have spots for great players, and he’s a tremendous player, he’s been a tremendous player in this league, and we’re excited about him. And his leadership and his toughness are great plusses for the Raiders.”

Darius played extensively against Seattle, but minor injuries slowed him throughout camp. Looking into their crystal ball, chances are the Raiders saw either a season-ending injury or a series of minor ones which would make continuity difficult.

Darius played in only 12 of 32 games the previous two years for Jacksonville, with a torn ACL in 2005 and a broken bone in his lower left leg in 2006.

Eric Frampton, noted as a playmaker at Washington State, did not standout either in practice or in the preseason.

Johnson survived an awful night against Seattle to make the roster on speed and special teams potential. Marquice Cole, an undrafted free agent, could be practice squad material.

Starks is the perfect guy to teach the technical part of the game to Bowie, a raw rookie. Both had interceptions against the Seahawks.

Of course, there’s still a week to go before the opener and there could be more moves on the horizon.

KICKERS (2)_Sebastian Janikowski, Shane Lechler.

Last call: Tyler Fredrickson was around to caddy for the two established kickers.