Position-by-position analysis of Raiders' initial 2019 53-man roster
Derek Carr, Mike Glennon, Nathan Peterman
Outlook: Gruden clearly stated his preference for keeping three quarterbacks. Some fans didn’t listen. Gruden likes Peterman, and will continue that reclamation project while employing Glennon as Carr’s primary backup.
Keeping three quarterback was always the plan.
“When you work with Jon Gruden,” Mayock said, “It probably always is.”
That plan was solidified once Peterman started playing well. Keeping him hinders depth at other spots, but it was a luxury the Raiders believe that can afford.
Running backs (4)
Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Alec Ingold
Outlook: Ingold beat out veteran Keith Smith in the fullback position battle, and earned his spot with solid offensive play and on special teams. Washington beat out Doug Martin in a battle that was decided last week. This is a good, young crew.
Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Dwayne Harris, Ryan Grant, J.J. Nelson
Outlook: Gruden went heavy on veterans here despite having some good young talent this preseason. Renfrow’s the lone exception, and should be the primary slot receiver. Keelan Doss couldn’t break through onto the initial 53-man roster despite a solid preseason, but the Raiders hope to sign him to the practice squad.
Mayock said there might be movement at receiver. It’s still possible the Raiders trade Grant, and get a young player back on the roster if they clear waivers.
Tight ends (3)
Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier
Outlook: This position group has been set for a while now. No surprises here. Waller’s the receiving tight end, and will move around the formation. Moreau’s expected to be the primary in-line tight end, and Carrier while back up both guys.
Offensive line (10)
Rodney Hudson, Kolton Miller, Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson, Denzelle Good, Jordan Devey, Brandon Parker, David Sharpe, Andre James, Jonathan Cooper
*Note: Richie Incognito has been move to the reserve/suspended list
Outlook: It’s still uncertain whether the Raiders will carry Jackson on the roster while recovering from a knee injury, or if he’ll go on injured reserve and be designated to return. Keeping two backup tackles was expected by this publication, giving the Raiders proper depth at every spot. James can backup at center, with Devey more focused on playing right guard with Jackson out.
Defensive line (9)
Clelin Ferrell, Benson Mayowa, Arden Key, Maxx Crosby, Josh Mauro, Corey Liuget, P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst, Johnathan Hankins
Outlook: Gruden said last week Justin Ellis might be ready to play the season opener despite missing a week-plus with a knee injury. That’s not going to be the case. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve, and can’t return. The Raiders have four defensive tackles, without an appropriately sized backup for Hankins. Either undrafted rookie Anthony Rush or Ellis seemed set for a roster spot, but the team moves forward without them.
Mayock said Ellis wasn’t available for evaluation enough due to injury, and that Rush was good but very raw.
The Raiders have five edge players, but Ferrell and Mauro can swing inside. Someone else from the outside could join this group as well, with a player dropped from another position.
Vontaze Burfict, Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow
Outlook: The Raiders only have four linebackers on the roster, which seems temporary even if they plan on regularly using an extra defensive back. Expect another linebacker to join the party in trade, off waivers or on the open market. Kyle Wilber was somewhat of surprise cut, considering he was a special teams captain last year.
Mayock said it took Marshall a while to show the burst they expected from him, and could keep him as a fourth or fifth linebacker if he wasn’t going to be a core special teams players. They let him go on Friday out of respect, to give him extra time to find a new gig.
Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Lamarcus Joyner, Trayvon Mullen, Keisean Nixon, Isaiah Johnson
*Note: Nevin Lawson starts on the reserve/suspended list.
Outlook: Johnson has missed most of the preseason with an concussion and facial injury, but he’s on the initial roster at least at the outset. Nixon locked up a roster spot a while ago, and will be here at least until Lawson’s eligible to return.
Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson is cut after just one season, but it wasn’t a surprise. He struggled throughout the preseason. Joyner will cover the slot receiver, with Mullen and the primary backup outside for Conley and Worley.
Johnathan Abram, Karl Joseph, Erik Harris, Curtis Riley, Dallin Leavitt
Outlook: Leavitt counts as the biggest surprise inclusion on the initial 53-man roster. Riley and Harris seemed like locks to back up Abram and Joseph. Leavitt initially seemed like someone the Raiders might move off the squad, but Mayock called him a core special teams player with a chip on his shoulder. That means he just might stick, as Wilber did last year despite not playing much defense.
Daniel Carlson, A.J. Cole, Trent Sieg
Outlook: The Raiders are going young with their specialists, a group that seems solid at this point. Carlson’s the real deal, and should be here for a long time.