By Steve Corkran
Saturday, September 4th, 2010 at 11:35 am in Oakland Raiders.
Seven of the nine players selected by the Raiders in the 2010 NFL draft appear to have made the roster — linebacker Rolando McClain, defensive end Lamarr Houston, offensive linemen Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell, safety Stevie Brown, cornerback Jeremy Ware and wide receiver Jacoby Ford. Linebacker Travis Goethel and cornerback Walter McFadden were not spotted at practice. Both are injured and might be placed on the injured-reserve list.
Center Chris Morris, wide receiver Todd Watkins, defensive end Greyson Gunheim, defensive tackle William Joseph, linebackers Slade Norris and David Nixon and safety Jerome Boyd all saw time with the Raiders within the past two seasons but weren’t at practice.
Quarterback Kyle Boller overcame long odds to make the roster. Of course, it helped that Charlie Frye suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Still, Boller earned a spot as the No. 3 based on his strong play throughout training camp and in Oakland’s four exhibition games.
Wide receiver Nick Miller is back for a second season. He spent all of last season on the active roster, much of which was used to get him back from a broken shin. He caught two touchdowns in the exhibition games. It remains to be seen whether he is here just as an extra receiver or if he is in the mix on kick/punt returns.
The Raiders are carrying only two tight ends — Zach Miller and Brandon Myers — and one fullback — Marcel Reece. Offensive tackle Erik Pears will be used as an extra blocker in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
The Raiders have seven receivers once again — Chaz Schilens, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy, Miller, Ford, Yamon Figurs and Johnnie Lee Higgins.
The injury to running back Michael Bush made it difficult for the Raiders to cut either Rock Cartwright or Michael Bennett. It’s conceivable that Cable would have kept both even if Bush were healthy based on their solid showing the past six weeks or so.
The surprise player has to be offensive lineman Daniel Loper. He didn’t do much to stand out during camp or the games. However, he has experience and is versatile enough to play guard and offensive tackle. Cable loves that kind of versatility.
Veterans thought to be in jeopardy of being cut or traded who made the team include: Higgins, linebackers Thomas Howard and Sam Williams, cornerback Chris Johnson — he allowed four receptions for 120 yards against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night – offensive tackle Khalif Barnes and safety Hiram Eugene.