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Analyzing the Raiders initial 53-man roster

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Fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington figures to be the Raiders' backup running back. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Fifth-round pick DeAndre Washington figures to be the Raiders’ backup running back. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders trimmed their roster to 53 players on Sunday. Will they have the same 53 by the time they line up next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints? Probably not.

But let’s go through the positional groups and look at who is sticking around for now. Players are listed not necessarily in the official depth chart order, but by how I’d order them.

QUARTERBACKS

Derek Carr, Matt McGloin, Connor Cook

The Raiders kept three quarterbacks and that’s always been the plan. Yes, Oakland has cut a fourth-round pick quarterback before, but Cook has shown gradual improvement and they weren’t cutting a guy they traded up to grab. The hope is he can eventually be Carr’s backup. Continue Reading

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466

Raiders keep four undrafted rookies on initial 53-man roster

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Undrafted Johnny Holton snagged a spot on the Raiders' 53-man roster. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Undrafted Johnny Holton snagged a spot on the Raiders’ 53-man roster. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA — The Raiders weekly news release has a section dedicated to highlighting the “undrafted gems” they’ve landed under general manager Reggie McKenzie.

That list will be updated after the Raiders kept four undrafted rookies when the roster trimmed to 53 players Saturday afternoon.

Running back Jalen Richard, defensive tackle Darius Latham, wide receiver Johnny Holton and cornerback Antonio Hamilton survived as the Raiders had few surprises among the 22 players trimmed. Continue Reading

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1,310

Raiders roster cut tracker: Jalen Richard makes cut, Dewey McDonald traded, Neiko Thorpe cut

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Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Raiders must trim their roster to 53 by Saturday’s 1 p.m. deadline, although it’s important to note that’s the deadline to get their list of cuts to the NFL, not the media or public.

Reports may leak out throughout the day until the Raiders announce their official cuts and we’ll track those here:

In news that was expected, a pair of reports indicate that rookie undrafted running back Jalen Richard has made the roster. A reporter from KALB in Louisiana and Southwestern Mississippi cited members of Richard’s family that said the Southern Miss product had made the squad. ESPN also confirmed Richard was sticking around. Continue Reading

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1,650

Raiders roster could see several undrafted additions

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Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Darius Latham (middle) has played his way into a likely roster spot. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Jack Del Rio has a counterpoint — and a fair one — to the talk that the Raiders have built a talented roster from which it will be tough to make cuts.

“There are a few undrafteds that have a chance to make the roster,” Del Rio said after the Raiders’ 23-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks to close the preseason. “If you have a really stacked roster, that’s typically not the case.”

While true, the Raiders do have a better roster than at any point in years past and the undrafted players with a shot speaks more to general manager Reggie McKenzie’s knack for uncovering some hidden gems. Continue Reading

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917

PODCAST: Raiders Talk postgame from 23-21 loss to Seattle Seahawks

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The Raiders wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 23-21 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. The next step is settling their roster, with most of the work expected to be done Friday.

The Raiders probably won’t announce anything until Saturday when the cuts are due to the league, but Thursday offered some glimpses into who will make the team.

On the second episode of the “Raiders Talk” podcast, NFL writer Jerry McDonald joins me as we talk about this game and what the roster looks like as it gets finalized. Continue Reading

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3,197

Watch: Inside the Raiders, Episode 2: Connor Cook and tonight’s game vs. Seahawks

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GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 18: Connor Cook #8 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 18, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 18: Connor Cook #8 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 18, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Bay Area News Group’s Courtney Cronin, Jimmy Durkin and Jerry McDonald preview the Raiders fourth preseason game and the areas where Oakland is looking to evaluate third string quarterback Connor Cook vs. Seattle on Thursday.

By Saturday, all NFL rosters must shrink to 53 active players. Which position groups are the Raiders focused on the most headed into the final round of cuts? The answer to this question and more is inside this episode.

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596

Raiders vs. Seahawks: Keys to the game

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Matt McGloin had two touchdown passes last year in the exhibition finale against Seattle. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Matt McGloin had two touchdown passes last year in the exhibition finale against the Seahawks. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

RAIDERS (1-2) VS. SEAHAWKS (2-1)

7 p.m., Thursday, Oakland Coliseum

TV: KTVU (Beth Mowins, Matt Millen, Nicole Zaloumis, John Tournour)

Radio: 95.7 (Greg Papa, Tom Flores, Lincoln Kennedy)

LINE

Raiders by 2 1/2
Continue Reading

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2,126

Five Raiders to watch Thursday against Seattle Seahawks

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Raiders wide receiver Johnny Holton gets his final chance to cement his roster spot.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Raiders wide receiver Johnny Holton gets his final chance to cement his roster spot. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

OAKLAND — The Raiders enter their final preseason game Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks with a roster that’s well settled.

Some backend pieces still need final decisions, but more practice squad spots are probably on the line than active rosters spots.

Don’t expect to see the starters at all. Coach Jack Del Rio hasn’t divulged that and quarterback Derek Carr said earlier this week he didn’t know if he was playing or not. Continue Reading

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1,572

Connor Cook ready for heavy workload in preseason finale

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Raiders' third-string quarterback Connor Cook should play a lot in Thursday's preseason game against Seattle. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Raiders’ third-string quarterback Connor Cook should play a lot in Thursday’s preseason game against Seattle. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Expect to see a healthy dose of quarterback Connor Cook when the Raiders close out the exhibition schedule Thursday in the Coliseum against the Seattle Seahawks.

The fourth-round pick will likely enter the game at some point in the first half and play the entire second half as Oakland puts on its final preseason show before the regular season begins Sept. 11.

Backup quarterback Matt McGloin is expected to start the game with starter Derek Carr watching comfortably from the sidelines. Continue Reading

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