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Raiders have more depth than usual when it comes to picking the 53-man roster

I’m supposed to come up with a projected 53-man roster within the next day or two for a special section which goes to print before the actual roster cutdown to 53 players.

My list this year of slam-dunk picks was 40 players, which I’ll list below. There may be a surprise or two because of injury or lack of performance, but my guess all of them are pretty safe as of this moment. Next I’ll go back and fill in 13 more players, trying to fill each position group.

Some years, when projecting the roster, I’d get to 25 players and then wonder how I’d ever get to 53.

Here are the fine 40:

QUARTERBACKS_Matt Schaub, Derek Carr, Matt McGloin. Comment: They’ll keep all three. They like McGloin that much.

RUNNING BACKS_Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcel Reece, Darren McFadden, Latavius Murray. Comment: A tough cutdown because they’ve all run so well. In some years, Kory Sheets makes the team – and he still might. Jeremy Stewart is a core special teams player, which carries weight. Jamize Olawale is the lone power-blocker in the backfield. George Atkinson III has too many players in front of him.

WIDE RECEIVERS_Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, James Jones. Comment: Greg Little’s well-documented issues holding on to the ball have been evident. Denarius Moore performed well in Oxnard, as did Brice Butler. Juron Criner is currently injured and the timing isn’t good. Greg Jenkins may figure in as a punt return specialist. Rashaan Vaughn, Mike Davis and Seth Roberts are probably hoping for the practice squad.

TIGHT ENDS_Mychal Rivera. Comment: David Ausberry has only a light brace on his injured knee but there is no timetable. Nick Kasa is probably out for the season with an ACL tear. Jake Murphy made some nice catches in Oxnard, but like Rivera, he’s more of a receiver than a blocker. The door is open wide for Brian Leonhardt. Chances are there will be a tight end or two on the 53-man roster that is currently unemployed or playing somewhere else.

OFFFENSIVE LINE_C Stefen Wisniewski, G Austin Howard, T Menelik Watson, T Donald Penn, G-T Khalif Barnes, G Gabe Jackson, C-G Kevin Boothe. Comment: Tony Bergstrom got in some work at center to stay available. Tackle Matt McCants and guard Lamar Mady got valuable time last year. Jack Cornell also got some experience. It’s an uphill climb for tackles Emmett Cleary and Dan Kistler and guard Jarrod Shaw. Lucas Nix, recovering from knee surgery, is a physically unable to perform list candidate.

DEFENSIVE LINE_DE LaMarr Woodley, NT Pat Sims, DT Antonio Smith, DE Justin Tuck, DT Stacy McGee, NT Justin Ellis, DE Shelby Harris. Comment: Last year’s surprise, Ryan Robinson, is definitely on the bubble, as is three-year veteran Jack Crawford. Ricky Lumpkin was singled by Dennis Allen after a recent practice, but it’s crowded at defensive tackle. C.J. Wilson has a good chance to stick as a run-stopping base end.

LINEBACKERS: WLB Sio Moore, MLB Nick Roach, SLB Khalil Mack, LB Miles Burris. Comment: Despite issues with injuries, the coaching staff likes Kaluka Maiava. Either he or Burris is the logical backup for Roach. Kaelin Burnett’s work on special teams could keep him aboard.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: CB Tarell Brown, CB Carlos Rogers, SS Tyvon Branch, FS Charles Woodson, CB TJ Carrie, CB Keith McGill, CB Chimdi Chekwa, CB Taiwan Jones. Comment: This is purely a guess, but since he hasn’t been on the practice field yet, DJ Hayden could be headed for the regular season physically unable to perform list. He could be brought back six weeks into the season and not count toward the roster. Brandian Ross had 14 starts last season at strong safety and has made some plays during training camp. Jeremy Deering and Larry Asante have shown an inclination to mix it up. Jonathan Dowling has shown good ball skills while also getting beaten on occasion. Safety Usama Young, who injured a quad on the camp-opening conditioning run, remains out.

SPECIALISTS: PK Sebastian Janikowski, P Marquette King, LS Jon Condo. No comment necessary.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • plunkhead

    Its not enough to make a call but MM moved the ball

  • plunkhead

    Chekwa is not playing

  • Rick Worth

    Hey boy? You a 49ers fan? C’mon Chicken Sheet admit it loser.

  • AlDavisJr

    As he did last year in most of the games he started. Hope we keep Matty M.

  • R8derdiehard

    What did he hurt?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    There’s the dual problem of him playing against the 3′s, but also playing with our 3′s. Hard call to make.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Watching the game. Commentators said he was 6’8″. They could be off, but he’s tall. Name is Momah.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    knee

  • lefty12

    It will depend a lot on how long the starters go.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Barring a meltdown, he’s not going anywhere.

  • lefty12

    So did Schaub.Can’t blame him for the penalties and drops.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Streater.

  • R8erEduc8er

    “In 6-7 Ifeanyi Momah, the Eagles have a freakishly tall developmental WR and it just so happens that they might also have the best coach in the world on staff to work with him.”

  • Myopinion

    I’m a big Holmes fan. But I’m a moore fan too. Just thought Holmes would start. Happy with either as long as they produce. Most of the arguments I’ve had over Holmes are people saying he won’t even make the team. And I think he’s close to a lock.

  • Return

    I will never understand why this board hated Kelly so much.

    I don’t see this line doing any better than Seymour, Kelly, Henderson, Houston.

  • Myopinion

    That’s why I picked Carr. Defense is Mack.

  • Gdog

    No kidding. They hate him because Al gave him a great contract. He played well for us. We are now in the “play great but for league minimum” era or something.

    Raider fans are now more bean counters than hoping for wins.

  • Gdog

    Pretty much hoping for miracles when it comes to Raider WRs. Not like Reggie would actually draft one early or something…

  • Gdog

    Thats CRAZY! They stuck with the worst coach in football too long??

  • plunkhead

    Looks like the butt fumbler passed the newest golden haired hero on the eagles depth chart

  • J Hill

    Be patient.

  • Rick Worth

    How rude!

  • Blackholepriest

    Yeah you guys were throwing dirt on his grave the day he got hurt.

    Everybody was moving on. This place is soo freaking fickle it’s ridiculous.

  • Rick Worth

    What’s wrong with pot?

  • Elliot

    Let’s be clear I liked ausberry from the start…however injured all last year. ..and this year his injury was shrouded in mystery. ..I said if he is out long term that was it for him as a raider

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Of course he moved up. All he had to do was get past another USC quarterback.

  • Blackholepriest

    One preseason game and the honeymoon is over. This offense ain’t going nowhere.

    I remember they said the same thing when Bill Walsh came in with his dink and dunk offense. They laughed and called it soft until he was beating them 40-10 and winning SBs.

  • The Big Banana

    Cream rises to the top.

    And as expected, Little won’t sniff the starting lineup.

  • Gdog

    Heard this story before… Curry, JLH, Chaz, Ford, Murphy, Watkins…

    All the same players…a few amazing plays then “Oh sheet”

  • lefty12

    He’ll be lucky to make the team.

  • The Big Banana

    Agreed.

    Where are all the “Little is an instant starter” guys?

  • J Hill

    We will draft a WR early next year.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Suh?

  • Gdog

    The new GM will maybe.

  • RediaR

    Latavius

  • lefty12

    We should have drafted Mack,a QB,a DE,a WR,and a LT in the 1st rd this year.

  • RediaR

    Cork is still here as the guy who tweets about the 49ers and MLB over there →

  • lefty12

    Ah,listening to the radio?

  • RediaR

    Nope

  • jesusraiderjim

    New post biotches

  • Myopinion

    It’s on the game 95.7? Won’t work on my phone

  • nomoreseasontix

    They may have more depth, but the problem is, from what I’ve seen so far this year, they suck.
    They have the look of a bad football team. No other way to put it. I haven’t seen ANYTHING that gives me hope.
    Nothing.
    Maybe they SHOULD move… have pity on us (so far) loyal fans.
    I’m getting bored and tired of it. Crappy team, year after year…. Organizational ineptitude. No other explanation.

    If they go to San Antonio, I say good luck. To San Antonio.
    I will have used all of my forbearance by then. I’ll be looking for another way to spend Sundays.

  • Mike_Trail

    That would be great! Ill admit I was down on his performance and didn’t hold much hope, but I think he is looking good right now.