Training camp is almost here for the Oakland Raiders and with the Hard Knocks crew following the team around, there’s bound to be a lot of intrigue surrounding the team. The Raiders added a lot of new veterans and rookies this offseason, so they’ll likely be a lot of familiar faces that don’t make the team. GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have until August 31 to cut the roster down to 53 players. That gives them all of training camp and preseason to see what the team’s got. While a lot can happen between now and the roster deadline, we’re going to give you predictions as to who will be on the Raiders roster when the season starts and how the depth chart will look.
*Notes expected starter.
Derek Carr*, Mike Glennon
Notable Cuts: Nathan Peterman
This is probably the easiest position group to decipher heading into training camp as there’s no way Derek Carr is losing the starting job to Mike Glennon or Nathan Peterman. Carr hasn’t had serious competition as the starting quarterback position since his rookie year and that’s not going to change before the season. Carr has gotten a couple of injuries over the last three seasons, but he’s otherwise a very resilient QB. The fact that he doesn’t miss many games will likely mean that the team decides to only keep one backup and at this juncture, it seems like Glennon will get the job. Peterman’s interception to touchdown ratio is terrible and despite what Jon Gruden thinks, he probably won’t be able to fix him. Glennon has more experience and his stat sheet actually isn’t that terrible. He’ll be a good backup option for the season.
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RB: Josh Jacobs*, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard
FB: Keith Smith*
Notable Cuts: DeAndre Washington, Chris Warren III, Alec Ingold
Jon Gruden is one of the few coaches that still likes to ride with a fullback so that means that they’ll be one less spot open at running back. Though he is a rookie, Josh Jacobs seems like he’s going to be the starter and he’s going to get a lot of work. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard are solid depth guys that have proven to be effective. The odd man out is DeAndre Washington, who has failed to impress since the Raiders drafted him a few years back. Chris Warren III is healthy again and he’ll have a strong chance to steal a roster spot if he lights up the preseason like he did a year ago, but it’ll still be hard for him to prove that he’s a better option than Richard or Martin. Keith Smith shouldn’t get much competition at fullback.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
WR: Antonio Brown*, Tyrell Williams*, Hunter Renfrow, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant, Marcell Ateman
TE: Darren Waller*, Foster Moreau, Paul Butler
Notable Cuts: Derek Carrier, Luke Willson
The Raiders’ wide receiver group seems to be one of the greatest strengths on the roster. Antonio Brown is one of the best in the game and Tyrell Williams is a big play guy that’ll give the Raiders one of the best tandems in the league. While Hunter Renfrow might not make the starting roster every week to make room for the starting fullback, he could get some starts in the slot from time to time. However, he’s not a lock for that third spot as Ryan Grant and J.J. Nelson have proven track records of production, whereas Renfrow is just a rookie. Marcell Ateman probably won’t get a lot of looks, but he’ll be an intriguing red zone option due to his size.
The tight end position is up in the air. Darren Waller seems to be the favorite due to the praise he’s received from Jon Gruden in the offseason, but praise has also been heaped upon rookie Foster Moreau. Also, Paul Butler could surprise people. The Raiders tight end group is incredibly young. Waller is the oldest out of the projected tight ends to make the roster at 26 years old. It’ll be hard to know for sure which way the team is leading at tight end until they strap on pads and hit the practice field in Napa.
LT: Kolton Miller*
LG: Denzelle Good*,
C: Rodney Hudson*
RG: Gabe Jackson*
RT: Trent Brown*
Bench: Richie Incognito, David Sharpe, Denver Kirkland, Jonathan Cooper, Brandon Parker
No big surprises when it comes to the offensive line for the Raiders. Denzelle Good will likely start at left guard while Richie Incognito serves his two-game suspension, but expect Incognito to get that spot back as soon as he returns. Rodney Hudson is the heart and soul of the offensive line. He’s not going anywhere and he hasn’t missed a game in three seasons. The most interesting thing here is that Trent Brown is slated to start on the right side and Kolton Miller is slated to start on the left. While it is incredibly important to protect the right side these days in the AFC West, if Miller continues to struggle like he did in 2018, Brown could take over and Miller could move to the right. Other than that, the starting lineup shouldn’t change.
DE: Clelin Ferrell*, Arden Key*, Benson Mayowa, Maxx Crosby
DT: Maurice Hurst*, Justin Ellis*, P.J. Hall, Eddie Vanderdoes
Notable Cuts: Quinton Bell, Ronald Ollie, Johnathan Hankins
Who starts on the Raiders defensive line could be very interesting to watch in training camp. The only player that seems like a lock to start is Maurice Hurst, who was an absolute steal for the Raiders in last year’s draft. Justin “Jelly” Ellis has been with the team for a long time, so he seems like a logical player to start next to Hurst. However, P.J. Hall or Eddie Vanderdoes could easily get the call. At defensive end, rookie Clelin Ferrell seems like he’s got a really good chance to start. Arden Key had a rough year in 2018, but he has the most upside, so we’re going to go with him. Maxx Crosby is just too raw as of right now to wrestle away that starting spot.
It’s unfortunate that is doesn’t look like they’ll be room for Quinton Bell or Ronald Ollie on the roster as they both could be really fun players but are just way too inexperienced. The Raiders should definitely get those two on the practice squad and give them another chance next year when they’ve had a chance to learn more. Johnathan Hankins getting cut is another tough call. He could easily take the last spot and Vanderdoes could get the ax. The only reason we went with Vanderdoes is that Jon Gruden has gone out of his way to say that he was excited to see him play.
MLB: Vontaze Burfict*
ROLB: Tahir Whitehead*
LOLB: Brandon Marshall*
Bench: Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Kyle Wilber
Notable Cuts: Te’Von Coney, Koa Farmer, James Cowser
The Raiders will be welcoming two new starters to their linebacking corps in 2019. Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall should be solid contributors for the team and the linebacker play should be much better than it was last year. Tahir Whitehead is coming back for a second year in Oakland and he should continue to be a good player for the team. Burfict seems like he’s going to be the top dog as he spent years with Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
CB: Gareon Conley*, Daryl Worley*, LaMarcus Joyner, Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, Nick Nelson
FS: Karl Joseph*, Erik Harris
SS: Johnathan Abram*, Curtis Riley
The 2019 starting defensive backfield will actually look pretty similar to the 2018 one for the Raiders. Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley and Karl Joseph all saw time as starters in 2018. All three guys are young and should improve with another year under their belts. The newest expected starter is rookie first-round pick Johnathan Abram, who was seen playing with the first team during minicamps. It seems like Abram’s job to lose. This group should have pretty good depth. Trayvon Mullen is an exciting rookie and LaMarcus Joyner is a versatile veteran with a proven track record that might see starts at corner and safety. This young squad should be exciting to watch this season.
K: Daniel Carlson*
P: Johnny Townsend*
RS: Dwayne Harris*
LS: Andrew DePaola*
Notable Cuts: Trent Sieg
After getting hurt in the first game of the season in 2018, Andrew DePaola will likely be back as the starting long snapper. Trent Sieg started 15 games for the Raiders last year, but DePaola has a lot of experience. Other than that, there’s no expected change. Johnny Townsend disappointed in his rookie season so he could be replaced if he continues to struggle. The Raiders used a draft pick on him last year, so they won’t be too eager to give up on him. Dwayne Harris will continue to man kick returns and he’s simply one of the best. He shouldn’t lose any reps there. Daniel Carlson came out of nowhere and kicked amazingly well for the Raiders in 2018. If he continues to play as well as he did a year ago, he’s going to be wearing silver and black for a long time.