Raiders roster projection: Did Trawick’s blocked punt boost his case?

Raiders undrafted defensive end/linebacker James Cowser should have a roster spot sewn up. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Raiders undrafted defensive end/linebacker James Cowser should have a roster spot sewn up. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Quarterbacks (3)

Derek Carr, Matt McGloin, Connor Cook

Nothing much to see here. The Raiders didn’t draft Cook in the fourth round to not hang onto him and they aren’t ready to move on from McGloin as the backup. They’re keeping all three quarterbacks.

Running backs (5)

Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Taiwan Jones, Jalen Richard, Jamize Olawale

Murray is the starting tailback and Olawale is the lead fullback. Jones remains a key special teams cog and Washington will be the primary backup. Richard has missed both preseason games with a knee injury, with ESPN reporting Thursday that they hope to have him back for the exhibition finale. Even without playing, he still gets the nod over George Atkinson III. Atkinson followed up his electric first preseason game with just three carries for three yards. He did have a pair of special teams tackles, which helps his case for a roster spot, but it’s still have to find a roster spot for him on this team.

Wide receivers (5)

Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts, Andre Holmes, Johnny Holton

No surprises in that top-four group. Johnny Holton had two catches for 24 yards Thursday, although he bobbled the heck out of a 21-yard catch before corralling with his legs. Along with his return skills, Holton still seems like the best bet to earn the No. 5 receiver spot.

Tight ends (3)

Lee Smith, Clive Walford, Mychal Rivera

Smith is the starter as the blocking tight end, Walford is the top passing target. Rivera, who had a bad drop Thursday, might’ve been fighting a little more to keep his spot if not for the injury to Gabe Holmes. With Holmes bound for IR, Rivera’s the No. 3.

Offensive lineman (8)

Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Menelik Watson, Austin Howard, Jon Feliciano, Matt McCants

The first five names are your starters. Howard is the swing tackle, Feliciano will backup at the interior three spots on the line. McCants and seventh-round pick Vadal Alexander could be battling for one spot if the Raiders do actually only keep eight lineman. They’d hope to get Alexander on the practice squad if he is cut.

Defensive lineman (8)

Mario Edwards, Jihad Ward, Justin Ellis, Dan Williams, Denico Autry, Stacy McGee, Leon Orr, Darius Latham

Edwards is a starter once healthy, but Ward and Autry should handle it until Edwards comes back and then battle for a starting spot with him in the meantime. Ellis has owned the lead for the nose tackle job over Williams, but that could eventually change. Latham has nice versatility and played some reps with the 1s in Green Bay. McGee and Orr help give this group admirable depth.

Edge rushers (4)

Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Shilique Calhoun, James Cowser

Mack and Irvin are the starters and third-round pick Calhoun and undrafted free agent Cowser back them both up. Let’s see if this crew adds Aldon Smith back at some point.

Linebackers (8)

Ben Heeney, Malcolm Smith, Cory James, Korey Toomer, Neiron Ball

Heeney and Smith start in the base defense while James, Toomer and Ball back them up and contribute as key special teams players.

Cornerbacks (5)

Sean Smith, David Amerson, DJ Hayden, TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald

Smith and Amerson start and Hayden handles the nickel plus backs up on the outside. Carrie could still play some safety if it’s even needed. McDonald’s had a nice camp and last year’s seventh-round pick could be ready to contribute.

Safeties (4)

Reggie Nelson, Karl Joseph, Nate Allen, Keith McGill

Nelson and Joseph lead this crew and Allen gives a veteran presence as a backup. McGill moved ahead of Dewey McDonald at safety, although McDonald made a couple nice special teams plays Thursday that could get him back in the mix. Brynden Trawick, known as a special teams ace, had a blocked punt Thursday and the Raiders could go thin at another spot to keep an extra safety/core special teamer.

Kicker (1)

Sebastian Janikowski

This was never really a competition with Giorgio Tavecchio, whose missed PAT certainly won’t do anything to change that.

Punter (1)

Marquette King

He’s the only punter on the roster and was signed to an extension in the offseason.

Long snapper (1)

Jon Condo

Condo has come back solid from the shoulder injury and should hold off Andrew East to keep his spot.


Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Nothing wrong with that.

  • eastoaklandraider

    What the hell is wrong with some of these people?

  • Starting QB 😉

  • R8RCatDave

    No, recess and lunch, along with after school football games, all good

  • Gdog

    Common meme here.

    He’s young… and needed a sucky blankee?

    Pretty soon these excuses are over right?

  • You are wise

  • Gdog

    You think Reggie gets rehired at 6 wins or something?

    Or are you still banking on 12 for sure?

  • eastoaklandraider

    He just signed an extension you idiot

  • J Hill

    He already got rehired.

  • J Hill

    Cook isn’t ready.

  • And….there’s always someone willing to give out hugs if one needs one

  • eastoaklandraider

    Of course practice matters what the hell is wrong with you people?

  • Aussie Raider

    Coaches would tear us a new one every time we stuffed up.

  • Not yet. But mid-season / bye week perhaps.

  • Gdog

    No kidding. The mood went from a month of posturing and chest beating about a for sure 12 win season to complete denial now.

    We looked better last year in the practice games, no?

  • It’s not about the X’s and O’s but about the Williams and Joes.

  • Gdog

    Are you sheeting me? Well, I guess I have been busy. When did this happen?

  • Seems the players drank their own koolaid too this preseason. Reggies 4 yr extension already with nothing to show for it doesnt help either.

  • R8RCatDave

    They get jail for that nowadays, sad but true

  • J Hill


    Carr gets the whole year. I’m just saying he needs to be better. I agree with JFB’s commentary about 1 read and chunking it. Kick back. Let the play develop. Hit a TE. Call an audible.

    He’s still young. A good prospect. But not “there” yet.

  • Gdog

    Hey GG… he did have two nice passes. I may be wrong…

  • Islandraider

    im worried about carr, im not sold, says the right things but he concerns me

  • BroJackson34

    So these practice games should be just as important, since you’re out there executing what you’re practicing against an opposing team and not your own.

  • He looked composed. Only first 30 odd snaps. More reps the better he’ll get.

  • J Hill

    Preseason games = practice.

    Carr’s practice hasn’t been inspiring.

  • R8RCatDave

    My god, Jim Hill is doing post game wrap, gotta be 89

  • im glad there are others out there who are equally worried.

  • He’s been pretty much the worst starting QB in preseason so far.

  • BroJackson34

    Stop making sense!

    What the hell is wrong with you people? lol

  • New post millennials

  • R8RCatDave


  • Gdog

    He does have a QB body.. and that float pass across his body rolling left was thing of beauty.

    Still worried about his friggin head though. He imploded at MS.

  • J Hill


    You really missed that???

  • BroJackson34

    Don’t worry, Del Rio was happy on the sideline. He was like,”it’s only a preseason game, practice means even less.”

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    He played one series.

  • JDR needs a backup HC then

  • BroJackson34

    You drink martina’s!

  • J Hill

    To be honest, I’m more worried about Jelly starting over Williams and MEJ being out.

  • Gdog

    YES! I just looked it up.. July 30?

    shrug. I am busy summers. Sorry.. that was an idiotic move by Tommy Boy IMO.

    No surprises there I guess..

  • And Heeney at MLB

  • DahlerStore
  • Post to the Ghost