Some names could conceivably be released Friday, but using recent history as a guide, the Raiders will likely wait until the 1 p.m. Saturday deadline and possibly beyond before announcing the composition of their 53-man roster.
At that point, the 53 who survive probably won’t be the same 53 who travel to face the New York Jets in the opener. Expect a waiver claim or two to push off players who seem to have initially made the roster.
Some guesses as to how things are shaping up as general manager Reggie McKenzie, coach Dennis Allen and the personnel department are sorting through the possible combinations . . .
(Allen is scheduled to talk with the local media by conference call at 4 p.m.)
Derek Carr, Matt Schaub, Matt McGloin.
Comment: No drama here except the Week 1 starter. And if Schaub still can’t cut loose on Monday, there is no decision to be made. Everything broke right for Carr in a way it never did for Schaub in terms of protection, receivers holding on to the ball, keeping things penalty free, etc. Allen realizes this, and if Schaub is pronounced fit and ready to throw, don’t be surprised if he goes with his original plan.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden, Latavius Murray, Marcel Reece, Jamize Olawale. On the bubble: Jeremy Stewart, George Atkinson III, Karl Williams.
Comment: Murray’s performance gives the Raiders legitimate insurance in case Jones-Drew, McFadden or both succumb at some point to injury and/or age. Atkinson had runs of 26 and 20 yards against Seattle in a bid for the practice squad.
Mychal Rivera. On the bubble: Brian Leonhardt, David Ausberry, Jake Murphy, Scott Simonson.
Comment: Leonhardt’s candidacy looks strong, but there’s a possibility that by this time on Monday or Tuesday, Rivera could be joined by a tight end or two that are released by other teams. Ausberry’s health is an ongoing concern. Murphy and Simonson are practice squad hopefuls.
Rod Streater, James Jones, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler. On the bubble: Andre Holmes, Greg Little, Seth Roberts.
Comment: Last time I did one of these I had Holmes as a lock, but he hasn’t been sure-handed. He and Little (too many drops) could still stick. Moore and Butler can’t be denied based on game performance. Roberts would be a practice squad hopeful.
Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Stefen Wisniewski, Austin Howard, Khalif Barnes, Kevin Boothe, Menelik Watson. On the bubble: Lamar Mady, Dan Kistler, Erle Ladson, Tony Bergstrom, Matt McCants, Jarrod Shaw, Jack Cornell.
Allen says don’t read too much into Barnes starting on the right side over Watson. Barnes sticks, regardless, and at some point Jackson will be the left guard. Position flexibility will be key for those on the bubble. Bergstrom has played guard, tackle and even a little center. The coaching staff loves Kistler’s aggressiveness and mean streak.
LaMarr Woodley, Pat Sims, Antonio Smith, Justin Tuck, Justin Ellis, Stacy McGee, Shelby Harris. On the bubble: Ryan Robinson, Ricky Lumpkin, Denico Autry, C.J. Wilson, Jack Crawford.
This should be the Raiders’ best defensive front since the division title winning seasons of 2000 through 2002. Of the bubble players, C.J. Wilson’s skill as a run defender on the edge and ability to play inside stands out.
Sio Moore, Nick Roach, Khalil Mack, Miles Burris, Kaelin Burnett. On the bubble: Kaluka Maiava, Carlos Fields, Bojay Filmoeatu, Spencer Hadley.
Comment: Maiava probably sticks although he misses a lot of practice time due to injuries. Burnett being held out of the Seattle game means either he’s hurt and it hasn’t been disclosed or he’s a core special teams player who has it locked down. I’m guessing the latter.
Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Tyvon Branch, Charles Woodson, Chimdi Chekwa, Taiwan Jones, TJ Carrie, Keith McGill, On the bubble: Neiko Thorpe, Usama Young, Brandian Ross, Chance Casey, Jonathan Dowling.
Comment: A surprise could come if Chekwa and/or Jones are more injured than the Raiders are letting on, necessitating an injured reserve (possibly designated for return). Carrie and McGill look like solid draft picks and Carrie is a strong and decisive punt return specialist. The coaching staff likes Thorpe, but may feel they can get him on to the practice squad. Dowling, who essentially came in exchange for Terrelle Pryor, could be practice-squad bound if he clears waivers. A decision may have to be made between Ross and Young.
Sebastian Janikowski, Marquette King, Jon Condo. On the bubble: Giorgio Tavecchio.
Comment: Tavecchio will be the first phone call if Janikowski’s quad acts up. Looked good kicking off the dirt against Seahawks.