The season is just a few short weeks away for the Oakland Raiders and it’s time for the team to start thinking of roster cuts. Throughout training camp and preseason, it’s become more apparent which players should be on the roster and which players should be gone. That being said, there will be several tough decisions that the team has to make. The Raiders released their first unofficial depth chart earlier in August, so that helps give us an idea of where players stand. Using that and what’s been seen in training camp and preseason, we’re going to predict what the final Raiders roster will look like at the start of the season.
*Notes expected starter based on the unofficial depth chart.
Derek Carr*, Mike Glennon
Notable Cuts: Nathan Peterman
In our earlier roster prediction, we went the notion that the Raiders would ride with two quarterbacks in 2019. We’re still going to go with that idea because there’s just not enough room on the roster. Both Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman have played well in the preseason. If the team does decide to cut one, it will likely be Peterman because of Glennon’s regular-season success. Oakland doesn’t necessarily need three as they only had Derek Carr and A.J. McCarron for the entirety of 2018. It’s a situation to watch, but Gruden is going to have a hard time getting rid of Peterman.
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RB: Josh Jacobs*, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard
FB: Keith Smith*
Notable Cuts: DeAndre Washington, Alec Ingold
Outside of Josh Jacobs, this is an incredibly difficult group to predict. We haven’t seen much of Doug Martin in the preseason, but Gruden loves him, so he’s probably safe. DeAndre Washington has looked rejuvenated this offseason and played really well against the Arizona Cardinals. However, Jalen Richard has a better track record in the regular season. Because of that, we’re sticking with Martin and Richard.
The fullback battle wasn’t supposed to be a difficult one to choose, but Keith Smith got hurt and Alec Ingold played well. The team might try to find a spot for Ingold somewhere on the roster, but it’s going to be difficult. It’s unlikely that he’ll beat out Smith, so his role would probably be on special teams.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
WR: Antonio Brown*, Tyrell Williams*, Hunter Renfrow, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant, Keelan Doss
TE: Darren Waller*, Foster Moreau
Notable Cuts: Derek Carrier, Paul Butler, Luke Willson, Marcell Ateman
It was hard to cut out Marcell Ateman, but Keelan Doss has made more plays than him in the preseason. Also, Dwayne Harris is technically a receiver and he’s not going anywhere because of his ability as a returner, so Doss could be out regardless. For the purposes of this prediction, we’re going to go with the Raiders keeping Doss. He’s already been hyped up and got a good amount of screen time on the second episode of Hard Knocks. Ryan Grant is also a player to watch. It’s possible the Raiders keep Doss over him.
Paul missed some time in training camp because of injury, so we’re giving Derek Carrier the edge over him if the Raiders do keep three tight ends. Carrier made an excellent touchdown grab against the Cardinals and that will help his chances, but the Raiders might just not have enough room for three tight ends. Darren Waller and Foster Moreau aren’t going anywhere.
LT: Kolton Miller*
LG: Johnathan Cooper*,
C: Rodney Hudson*
RG: Denver Kirkland*
RT: Trent Brown*
Bench: Richie Incognito, David Sharpe, Brandon Parker, Gabe Jackson (injured), Denzelle Good
Notable Cuts: Jordan Davey, Tyler Roemer
The offensive line is a difficult unit to predict because it’s been hit with injuries and suspension. Currently, we’re going to go with Denver Kirkland and Johnathan Cooper as the starting guards come week one. The expected starters, Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito, will both be out for at least two games. The two tackle positions and center are set, but there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty at guard until the season actually starts. Since none of the injured players are going to be out long enough for the Raiders to put on the IR or PUP list, they’re going to count against the roster. Denzelle Good is making his way back, but the team could ease him back in.
DE: Clelin Ferrell*, Josh Mauro*, Arden Key, Benson Mayowa, Maxx Crosby
DT: Johnathan Hankins*, Justin Ellis*, Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall
Notable Cuts: Quinton Bell, Eddie Vanderdoes, Gabe Wright, Ethan Westbrooks, Anthony Rush
The defensive line is probably the toughest unit to decipher on the entire roster. With veteran journeymen like Johnathan Hankins and Josh Mauro earning starting spots on the unofficial depth chart, it looks like some homegrown talent is going to be forced out. Eddie Vanderdoes is a dead man walking at this point. He’s missed almost all of training camp with a concussion and there won’t be room for him. It’ll be tough to cut Quinton Bell because of his upside as a rookie, but there are just a few players that show more promise than him. Ethan Westbrooks and Anthony Rush could force somebody out, but they’re going to have a hard time doing it. This group, more so than any other, is going to be one to watch.
MLB: Vontaze Burfict*
ROLB: Tahir Whitehead*
LOLB: Brandon Marshall*
Bench: Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow
Notable Cuts: Te’Von Coney, Koa Farmer, James Cowser, Kyler Wilber
The Raiders have two new starters in their linebacking corps for 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.
Unfortunately, there’s not going to be enough room for rookie Te’Von Coney. He was always going to have a hard time because of his status as an undrafted rookie, but he could find new life on the practice squad.
CB: Gareon Conley*, Daryl Worley*, LaMarcus Joyner, Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, Nick Nelson
FS: Karl Joseph*, Erik Harris
SS: Johnathan Abram*, Curtis Riley
Notable Cuts: Nevin Lawson
The 2019 starting defensive backfield is looking like it will be pretty similar to the 2018 one for the Raiders. Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley and Karl Joseph were all starters at points 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 quickly became a fan favorite and hasn’t done anything to show that he’s not up to the task. 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.
Any chance Nevin Lawson had of making the roster died when he got suspended to start the season, per Adam Schefter.
K: Daniel Carlson*
P: A.J. Cole*
RS: Dwayne Harris*
LS: Andrew DePaola*
Notable Cuts: Trent Sieg
Out goes Johnny Townsend, in comes A.J. Cole. It was a surprising turn of events for the 2018 fifth-round pick, but he lost out to the undrafted rookie. Cole has been impressive thus far and the punter job will be his to lose. 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. Dwayne Harris will continue to man kick returns and he really is 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.