Predicting The Raiders 53-Man Roster: What’s Jon Gruden Going To Do?

It’s a little early to do a 53-man roster prediction, but… well, actually, no it isn’t. The Raiders will be trimming their roster to 53 on September 1 and that’s only 11 days away.

So here’s what the finished product might look like:

Quarterback (3): Derek Carr, E.J. Manuel, Connor Cook

Three quarterbacks? If no one stands out in the next two weeks, Jon Gruden might want to see both backups get a little more time in his system before cutting bait with one. Carr has suffered significant injuries in each of the past two years, so Gruden needs to get this one right.

Running Back (4): Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, Chris Warren

Some close to the team believe that Richard will be in the fold and DeAndre Washington will be out. Warren has too much upside to risk being scooped up by another team – especially with Lynch not under contract beyond this year.

Fullback (1): Keith Smith

No commentary needed.

Wide Receiver (7): Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Ryan Switzer, Marcell Ateman, Dwayne Harris, Johnny Holton.

SEVEN receivers? Yes, and that’s with Seth Roberts and Griff Whalen not in the mix – both of whom could end up on the roster. Holton adds a deep element to the receiver group, but he and Dwayne Harris are really special teams aces. Just a guess, but Gruden isn’t going to take any short cuts with his special teams group this year.

Tight End (3): Jared Cook, Derek Carrier, Lee Smith

What a perfect group of tight ends. Cook is the receiving option and Lee Smith is the brawny blocker. Carrier can do both. One of the underrated strengths of the roster this year will be at the tight end position.

Offensive Line (9): Donald Penn, Kolton Miller, Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson, Jon Feliciano, Brandon Parker, Ian Silberman, David Sharpe

Notably missing is Breno Giacomini and his $3.5 million cap hit. If Penn struggles over the next couple weeks, maybe Giacomini hangs around, but he’s too expensive for what his present role looks to be. In the end, the offensive line still has a lot of questions to be answered at the tackles. Between injuries and inexperience, these are going to be difficult decisions for Gruden to make.

Defensive End (5): Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin, Tank Carradine, Arden Key, Shalique Calhoun

If we’re predicting a roster this much in advance, it’s OK to predict that Khalil Mack will be back somewhere around the first week of September. Calhoun is starting to get his act together. If he’s trending in that direction, why cut him loose now?

Defensive Tackle (4): Mario Edwards Jr., Justin Ellis, P.J. Hall, Mo Hurst

No way is Eddie Vanderdoes making Gruden’s 53-man roster without being on the practice field, right? Vanderdoes probably wouldn’t like it, but the Raiders could place him on injured reserve and get a full offseason to see where he fits into Paul Guenther’s system in a year. Or, with Hurst and Hall now in the mix, Gruden might just say goodbye now. If the interior needs help with only four defensive tackles, Carradine can move to the inside for a spell.

Linebacker (5): Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Derrick Johnson, Emmanuel Lamur

A nice blend of youth and experience. This linebacker group should be improved from a year ago and five should be enough. Sixth-round pick Azeem Victor has been quiet enough that he should be able to find his way onto the practice squad if necessary.

Cornerback (5): Gareon Conley, Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Nick Nelson, Leon Hall

Leon Hall is a tough call. His connection to Guenther put him over the top, but by the time the season opener rolls around, he could be replaced. If Hall doesn’t make it, Antonio Hamilton might be the one to beat him out. With Worley expected to be suspended for a game or two, Gruden will want to make sure doesn’t go light at the position.

Safety (4): Karl Joseph, Marcus Gilchrist, Reggie Nelson, Erik Harris

The end is near for Obi Melifonwu. The beginning is here for Erik Harris.

Special Teams (3): Eddy Piñeiro (kicker), Johnny Townsend (punter), Andrew DePaola (long snapper)

Notable cuts: Seth Roberts, Griff Whalen, DeAndre Washington, Frostee Rucker, Eddie Vanderdoes, Treyvon Hester, Fadol Brown, Obi Melifonwu, James Cowser.

twitter: @raidersbeat


6 thoughts on “Predicting The Raiders 53-Man Roster: What’s Jon Gruden Going To Do?

  1. Think Seth Roberts/ Whalen sticks around instead of dwayne harris.
    Not sold on Tank Carradine either. Especially with talk of George Iloka coming in possibly.
    What about Leavitt? PS?

  2. I cant see a team with only 5 LBs and 4 safeties.. They didnt bring in DRC for nothing either. Touch cuts on oline and WR coming up.
    If Warren doesnt make it, will be playing for washington or tampa the next day.

  3. What about Faldo Brown, he is a UFA, in his first year. He is big, strong, and fast, and can get to the quarterback. We can’t let him walk.

Comments are closed.